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Board 117: Lessons Learned: Using Modified Emerging Scholars Program Concepts in the Development of STEP Grant – Funded Initiatives

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Conference

2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count

8

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/29890

Download Count

41

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Paper Authors

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Lynn L. Peterson University of Texas, Arlington

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Dr. Peterson currently serves as Sr. Associate Dean for the College of Engineering, and Professor of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Texas at Arlington. Research interests are in engineering education, intelligent systems, and medical computer science. Dr. Peterson is a member of the UT Arlington Academy of Distinguished Teachers. She is PI of the NSF STEP grant entitled AURAS: Arlington Undergraduate Research-based Achievement for STEM.

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J. Carter Tiernan University of Texas, Arlington

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Dr. J. Carter M. Tiernan is the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs in the College of Engineering at the University of Texas at Arlington. Dr. Tiernan directs undergraduate recruiting, student activities, engineering K -12 outreach, and scholarships for the College as well as securing external funding for these efforts. Dr. Tiernan also helps coordinate undergraduate research opportunities and retention programs for engineering students and collaborates with the UT Arlington College of Science on STEM outreach activities. Dr. Tiernan's research interests are in AI and engineering education.

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Kevin A. Schug University of Texas, Arlington

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Kevin A. Schug is Professor and the Shimadzu Distinguished Professor of Analytical Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at The University of Texas at Arlington. Since joining UTA in 2005, his research has been focused on the theory and application of separation science and mass spectrometry for solving a variety of analytical and physical chemistry problems. He has received a number of research and teaching awards. Most notably, in 2016, he was named Fellow of the University of Texas System Academy of Distinguished Teachers.

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Ramon Lopez University of Texas, Arlington

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Ramon E. Lopez is currently a Professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) where he leads a research group that is working in both space physics and science education. Dr. Lopez is a Fellow of the APS, the AAAS and the AAPT.

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James A. Mendoza Álvarez The University of Texas, Arlington

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Dr. Álvarez currently serves as a Professor of Mathematics as well as Graduate Advisor for the Master of Arts Program in Mathematics at The University of Texas at Arlington. His research interests include undergraduate mathematics education, mathematical education of teachers, and program and curriculum development. He has worked extensively with Emerging Scholars Programs and is a member of the UT Arlington Academy of Distinguished Teachers.

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Abstract

AURAS, the Arlington Undergraduate Research-based Achievement for STEM, is a project undertaken at The University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) under an NSF STEP grant. Since the goal of the NSF STEP program is to increase the number of graduates in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) majors, it was recognized that success in entry-level courses was a necessary first step in improving graduation rates of students majoring in Chemistry / Biochemistry, Physics, Mathematics and Engineering. Freshman-level courses in math and chemistry were targeted for intervention because of their high drop and failure rates: Pre-calculus, Calculus I, Calculus II, General Chemistry I, and Chemistry for Engineers. The Emerging Scholars Program (ESP) model was used to develop courses that were then offered to incoming freshmen beginning in Fall 2010. The central features of ESP are a problem-based approach to learning with a focus on high-level work rather than remediation, a welcoming community with shared academic interests, collaborative learning and small group interaction, with an underlying goal of increasing diversity by increasing minority student successes. In addition to the regular lecture and labs associated with the courses, ESP students were required to attend two two-hour ESP seminar/workshops per week for Pre-calculus and Calculus I, one two-hour session for Calculus II, and one four-hour ESP workshop per week for Chemistry. Marked improvements in pass rates and a decrease in the drop rates for the participants in the AURAS classes were noted during the first three semesters. Since plans for institutionalization was a requirement of the STEP funding, efforts were made to make the AURAS classes less costly, so that they could be sustained in the institution only by the funds generated from tuition of students retained. However, it became apparent at the beginning of year 3 that major revisions were needed with a focus on sustainability if the promise of the grant funding was to be attained. Three initiatives were begun: mathematics course redesign, institution of an engineering problem-solving class, and further development of research methods components. Each of these initiatives was successfully completed and fully institutionalized. Now, at the conclusion of the AURAS project, the team is looking back to extract lessons learned as a result of this work, including culture changes in the colleges of engineering and science, classroom modifications which resulted from demonstrated improvements, and recognition of a role for science and engineering education per se. The poster will detail lessons learned which have applicability to the community as a whole.

Peterson, L. L., & Tiernan, J. C., & Schug, K. A., & Lopez, R., & Álvarez, J. A. M. (2018, June), Board 117: Lessons Learned: Using Modified Emerging Scholars Program Concepts in the Development of STEP Grant – Funded Initiatives Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/29890

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