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Avenue-E: An Innovative Student Transfer Pathway Program

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Engineering/Engineering Technolgy Transfer Issues: Two-year College to Four-year College

Tagged Division

Two-Year College

Tagged Topic


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Paper Authors


Jennifer Sinclair Curtis University of California, Davis

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Jennifer Sinclair Curtis is Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering and Dean of the College of Engineering at University of California, Davis. She is a Fellow of AAAS, AIChE and ASEE. Professor Curtis is a recipient of a Fulbright Senior Research Scholar Award, AIChE's Thomas-Baron Award in Fluid-Particle Systems, the AIChE’s Fluidization Lectureship Award, AIChE’s van Antwerpen Award, the American Society of Engineering Education's Chemical Engineering Lectureship Award, the Eminent Overseas Lectureship Award by the Institution of Engineers in Australia, and ASEE's Sharon Keillor Award for Women in Engineering, and the NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award. She has served on the National Academy of Engineering's Committee on Engineering Education and has participated in two NAE Frontiers of Research Symposia (2003 and 2008). Professor Curtis received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University (1983) and a PhD in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University (1989). Prior to joining UC Davis in 2015, she was Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering and Associate Dean for Research at the University of Florida. She has also served on the faculty of Carnegie Mellon University and Purdue University. At CMU she received the engineering college’s Ladd Research Award, and at Purdue she was named University Faculty Scholar.
Professor Curtis’ research focuses on the development of multiphase CFD models and discrete element method models for particulate flow. Her work has been applied to improve the design and optimization of chemical, energy, mining, pharmaceutical, and agricultural processes in which particulate processes are pervasive. Her multiphase flow models, based on first principles granular kinetic theory, have been adopted by the software package ANSYS Fluent, the largest producer of simulation software used by 96 of the 100 biggest industrial companies and over 40,000 customers. Her multiphase flow models are also included in the CFD Research Corporation’s multiphase flow CFD software package and the open-source CFD code (OpenFOAM).

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Beth Frances Broome Broome


Cynthia Murphy-Ortega Chevron Corporation

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Cynthia Murphy-Ortega
Chevron University Partnerships and Association Relations

Cynthia Murphy-Ortega is currently Manager of University Partnerships and Association Relations of Chevron Corporation. Her organization manages Chevron’s relationships with universities and professional societies and institutes throughout the world. Cynthia joined Chevron in 1991 as an engineer with the Richmond Refinery in the San Francisco Bay Area. She held various engineering, maintenance, operations, financial, business planning and process safety management positions within the refinery.
Cynthia then went on to work in the technology arena with the Chevron Energy Technology Company in 1998. She developed and managed Chevron’s technical competency development programs for new hires in refining and exploration & production roles. She also worked in the Process Planning Group and performed process modeling on large-scale projects. In her role as Organizational Capability Manager with the Process, Analytical and Catalysis Dept, she supported technical competency management, staffing/recruitment, new hire and competency development, and business planning.

Cynthia participates on various Boards including the Dean’s Advisory Committee, the Chemical Engineering Advisory Committee, the Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering Advisory Committee, the Leadership in Engineering Advancement Diversity and Retention Advisory Committee (LEADR) and the Avenue E Community College Transfer Program Advisory Board at University of California, Davis; the Broadening Opportunity through Leadership and Diversity Advisory Committee (BOLD) at University of Colorado, Boulder; the Viterbi Center for Engineering Diversity Industry Advisory Board at University of Southern California; the Industry Advisory Council for Minority Education at Massachusetts Institute of Technology; the President’s Council on Diversity, Inclusion, and Access at Colorado School of Mines; the Women’s Engineering Program Advisory Board at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo; the Corporate Membership Council of American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE); the Inclusion Committee of National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE); the Postsecondary Pathways Innovation Lab Co-Chair of STEMConnector; the National Council on STEM and Technology for INROADS; and the Petroleum Geosciences Advisory Board and Petroleum Engineering Advisory Board at Chulalongkorn University/Thailand. Cynthia holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Davis.

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Over 68% of students in the California Community College system come from minority backgrounds, representing an opportunity to accelerate the diversification of STEM industries. However, according to a September 2017 report by the California-based Campaign for College Opportunity, these students transferred at an average rate of only 4% after 2 years or 25% after 4 years. Additionally, a recent report published by the Education Trust indicates that students from historically under-represented backgrounds complete associate degree programs and transfer to four year degree programs at significantly lower rates than their peers. Most often, this is attributed to student-reported difficulties in transitioning from community college to a four-year university.

AvenueE provides a support network that engages students in the last two years of their community college experience, laying the groundwork for eliminating barriers that often prevent retention and timely degree completion at UC Davis through a series of interventions and wraparound services. This initiative improves preparation and increases participation, resulting in a new generation of promising STEM talent and leadership that can secure our nation’s future in engineering, science and technology. AvenueE is designed to be a flexible model that can be replicated.

The primary objectives of AvenueE are to:

· Increase the pool of diverse students qualified to transfer into engineering or computer science programs at UC Davis from partner community college districts

· Implement targeted programs and wraparound support services throughout the students’ higher education careers

· Evaluate success by developing evidence-based best practices for moving students from community college to university engineering or computer science programs, and ultimately the workforce

· Position students to be successful engineering/tech sector employees while increasing the diversity of the candidate pool for the broader engineering/technology sector

· Collaborate with community colleges by providing financial resources to expand capacity in areas such as recruitment, advising, and student support services

· Leverage professional learning communities and cross-collaboration to aid faculty development at UC Davis and Community College levels

Curtis, J. S., & Broome, B. F., & Murphy-Ortega, C. (2018, June), Avenue-E: An Innovative Student Transfer Pathway Program Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--29842

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