Asee peer logo

Board # 106 : STEM grown Master's

Download Paper |


2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Lisa Naderman University of Wisconsin, Platteville

visit author page

Lisa Naderman graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville in 2014 with a Masters of Science in Project Management through distance learning. She began her career at UW-Platteville working in Prospective Student Services as a recruiter, while taking on the roles of assistant women's basketball coach and associate lecturer for the Health and Human Performance Department. Naderman is currently working in the Distance Learning center as an advisor for the undergraduate programs and student services coordinator. Naderman's responsibilities include providing support for student services, working with assessments of student services in online programs and also oversees the NSF STEM Master Scholar Program.

visit author page


Lori Wedig University of Wisconsin, Platteville

visit author page

Lori Wedig works in the Distance Learning Center (DLC) as the Associate Outreach Specialist for the NSF STEM Master Scholars program and the Masters of Science in Engineering Graduate Scholars. She has worked in higher education for 25 years with the last 2 years working in the DLC advising the NSF STEM Master Scholar program.

visit author page

Download Paper |


The purpose of the STEM Scholar Master’s Program is to attract more students to science, technology, engineering, math majors and provide them with support in a variety of ways. It is a five-year program funded through a National Science Foundation grant of $630,410. This funding supports scholarships for full-time online graduate students of up to $10,000 each for six to twelve students per year who have chosen degree programs in a STEM field. The online master’s degree programs available under this grant include Engineering, Project Management, and Integrated Supply Chain Management.

Institutions and programs serving online graduate students in STEM fields often find meeting online student needs in the areas of career guidance and student services to be a challenge. This program focuses on providing an extraordinary level of support and interaction for the program participants personally, academically, and professionally. This support includes financial assistance, academic guidance within their program and specific courses, peer and career mentoring, an online scholar community, and leadership development activities.

During the first year of the program, scholars who have been accepted into the program are paired with an academic advisor, peer mentor, and a champion. These individuals form a support network for the scholar throughout their time in the program. The advisor provides guidance to the scholar from initial course selection to program completion, and serves as a resource throughout their academic career. Peer mentors are current students or alumni of the scholar’s degree program who help the scholar establish goals and gain a better understanding of the program. All peer mentors complete a mentorship training program before they are paired with a scholar to help ensure success. Finally, each scholar is assigned a champion, an individual active in a STEM field who provides the scholar with networking and professional development opportunities. Throughout the scholar’s degree program, they connect with each of these resources at minimum once per month.

Along with the support of their advisor, peer mentor, and champion, scholars are also presented with resources in the online scholar community, such as Scholar Spot programming. The Scholar Spots are online presentations made by professionals in STEM fields and focus on resources and opportunities for STEM careers relevant to the students. During these presentations, students have the opportunity to interact with the professionals and ask questions. Additional information is also provided on professional organizations and networking opportunities. The development of this support network and the interactions between scholars and their advisors, peer mentors, and champions have led to many positive outcomes for both the scholars and the institution. Our poster session will highlight and expand upon the important role these individuals and resources have played in improving the student experience and student retention.

Naderman, L., & Wedig, L. (2017, June), Board # 106 : STEM grown Master's Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--27678

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2017 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015