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Baton Rouge Community College/Louisiana State University: A Partnership for STEM Student Success

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Conference

2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016

ISBN

978-0-692-68565-5

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session I

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count

11

DOI

10.18260/p.26366

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/26366

Download Count

47

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Paper Authors

biography

Adrienne Steele Louisiana State University

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Adrienne Steele has over 15 years experience in STEM education. Currently, Adrienne works at Louisiana State University in the College of Engineering, managing all aspects of the STEP project that consists of a large-scale peer mentoring program. Previously, she coordinated the Scope-On-A-Rope Outreach Program (SOAR) in the Department of Biological Sciences for 10 years with funding from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. In this position, she led over 175 professional development workshops for K-12 teachers. Prior to her positions at LSU, Adrienne was the Science Education Curator at the Louisiana Art and Science Museum in Baton Rouge. Adrienne has a Master of Science degree in zoology from LSU, where she studied in the Museum of Natural Science, and an Education Specialist Certification in science education.

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biography

Warren N. Waggenspack Jr. Louisiana State University

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Warren N. Waggenspack, Jr. is currently the Mechanical Engineering Undergraduate Program Director and holder of the Ned Adler Professorship in the Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering at Louisiana State University. He obtained both his baccalaureate and master's degrees from LSU ME and his doctorate from Purdue University's School of Mechanical Engineering. He has been actively engaged in teaching, research and curricula development since joining the LSU faculty in 1988. Over the last 12 years, he acquired funding from NSF to support the development of several initiatives aimed at improving student retention and graduation rates as well as supporting faculty with development of effective learning and teaching pedagogies.

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Charles Algeo Wilson IV Louisiana State University

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Charles is a PhD student in Environmental Sciences at Louisiana State University. In 2012, he earned his master’s degree in Medical and Health Physics and has since been working towards a PhD. During his studies, he has worked actively with the LSU STEM Talent and Expansion Program and LSU Center for Academic Success helping with different methods that aim to improve how STEM college students learn including tutorial centers, PLTL, SI, and recitation programs.

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Laura Ikuma Louisiana State University

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Laura Ikuma is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering. Her research interests are in human factors and safety, in particular the links between lean production, psychosocial factors, and injury outcomes.

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Abstract

Baton Rouge Community College/Louisiana State University: A Partnership for STEM Student Success

This STEP Type 1B project enhances the existing partnership between Baton Rouge Community College STEM Division and Louisiana State University College of Engineering to foster students’ completion of Associates Degrees at BRCC and Bachelor of Science degrees at LSU. Particular emphasis is placed on Engineering and Construction Management (E/CM) disciplines for which BRCC & LSU have recently formalized articulation agreements.

One project goal is to increase the number of BRCC AS/AAS E/CM graduates by five per year to an annual rate of 25 students, all with strong academic foundations for further E/CM study at LSU. At LSU, the goal is to improve the overall 2nd-3rd year retention and ultimately improve the cumulative 6th year graduation rate by 2-3% per year so that it approaches the current university average for all entering freshmen (59%). Building upon the lessons learned from the first STEP grant, these goals will be accomplished through the following actions: 1) development and implementation of a pre-engineering learning community at BRCC; 2) integration of supplemental instruction/academic support in core STEM/Engineering courses at both institutions; 3) provide opportunities for faculty development and engagement across institutions; 4) provide the environment and training necessary to develop mentoring relationships between students (particularly transfer students entering LSU); and 5) establish mechanisms for effective monitoring and continual improvement.

This project is about to complete its third year, and we are on track to achieve these goals and objectives. A pre-engineering learning community at BRCC–consisting of informal study groups and newly formed E/CM student organizations–has been developed, and both institutions have incorporated successful supplemental instruction programs. At BRCC, SI is offered in the engineering courses as well as in physics, math, and chemistry. Students who regularly attend SI sessions (four or more) in these courses are 31% more likely to pass compared to students who don’t attend any sessions. SI is also offered in several sophomore-level gateway courses at LSU with a 20% increase seen in passing rates when regular attendance is compared to no attendance. Three joint faculty development workshops have been offered, giving faculty members and SI Leaders at both institutions opportunities to improve their active learning strategies and to build relationships. Leadership development of students remains strong through the peer mentor program at LSU, and four Transfer Career Day programs have been held to acclimate transfer students into the university with 91 participants to date.

The number of AS/AAS E/CM graduates at BRCC has grown by over five students on average per year since the beginning of the project. At LSU, students who participate in some facet of STEP are 8-13% more likely to be retained from their second to third year than students who do not participate. Currently the 6-year graduation rate at LSU is also 8-11% higher for STEP 1A participants than non-participants. We will continue to monitor the overall retention and graduation rates as the granting period progresses. In addition to retention and graduation analyses, two psychology PhD students and an outside evaluator have conducted surveys and focus groups to ascertain the impact of this project on faculty and students.

Steele, A., & Waggenspack, W. N., & Wilson, C. A., & Ikuma, L. (2016, June), Baton Rouge Community College/Louisiana State University: A Partnership for STEM Student Success Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26366

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