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Board 152: An Ecosystem for Success in Engineering and Computer Science

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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

10

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/29955

Download Count

24

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Paper Authors

biography

Horacio Vasquez University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley

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Dr. Horacio Vasquez is a Professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Texas - Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV), in Edinburg, Texas. His current research interests are in the areas of control systems, mechatronics, measurements and instrumentation, and engineering education.

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Virgil U. Pierce University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley

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Dr. Virgil Pierce is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Texas -- Pan American. His research is in mathematical and statistical physics, and involves the intersection of techniques from nonlinear waves, combinatorics, and random matrices. He works extensively on educational issues in high school and higher education, including the development of a College Prep Math course being used in public high schools in Cameron, Hidalgo, and Starr Counties in Texas, and he has worked with a variety of issues surrounding entry level mathematics and science at two-year and four-year schools in Texas.

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Stephen W. Crown University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley

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Dr. Crown is a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. He is the director of the Edinburg Texas Pre-Freshman Engineering Program and has served as PI and Co-PI on several large engineering education grants to improve pedagogy and access to online resources that positively impact measurable student learning outcomes.

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Arturo A. Fuentes University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley

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Arturo Alejandro Fuentes is an Associate Professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Texas Pan American. He holds a Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in mechanical engineering from Rice University. Among his research interests are nano-reinforced composites, dynamic response analysis, non-destructive evaluation, and engineering education. Among his teaching responsibilities are Finite Element Method, Mechanical Vibrations, and Introduction to Mechanical Engineering at the undergraduate level, and Structural Dynamics, Advanced Mechanics of Materials, and Finite Element Analysis at the graduate level.

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Abstract

Supported by a National Science Foundation STEP grant, our activities continue to establish a regional ecosystem for STEM success by targeting barriers to student achievement and creating opportunities for enhanced student engagement. Description of the activities and results obtained during the 4th year (2016-2017) of this grant are presented in this paper. Students participated in the following activities: 1) a targeted, STEM-focused, concurrent-enrollment program; 2) accelerated pathways to Calculus-preparedness; 3) engagement and guidelines in gatekeeper courses; 4) peer-led, mentoring and teaching, and activity 5), which is a recent supplement to our grant and consist of an entering-transfer-student bridge to Engineering or Computer Science. Activity 1 establishes a process for providing early-college students already participating in a summer Engineering and Computer Science camps the opportunity to participate in an Engineering-focused U-PREP program during the summer prior to their Junior and Senior years. Activity 2 is to accelerate the Calculus readiness of incoming students who do not test into Calculus. Many students who have high school credit for Pre-Calculus or even Calculus do not place into Calculus based on entrance or college readiness exams. This activity is being expanded in partnership with neighboring two-year colleges to provide accelerated pathways to Calculus. Activities 3 and 4 are to improve persistence and adequate progression for key “gatekeeper” courses, and provide students with specialized online and in-person mentoring and supplemental instruction that target common misconceptions and improve mastery of key fundamental concepts. The team and participating instructors developed metrics for early identification of at-risk students to better target interventions. As a supplement to the grant, Activity 5 targets students in transition from the regional two-year programs to the University’s Engineering and Computer Science four-year programs. It provides transfer students scholarships for tuition to attend sophomore-level Engineering or Computer Science courses they have yet to complete. In year 4 of this grant, a total of 499 students participated in our grant activities: 24 in Activity 1 during summer 2017, 44 in Activity 2 during summer and fall in 2017, and 431 in Activity 3 during fall 2016 and spring 2017. Also, activity 1, recruited and trained 22 mentors, tutors, and resident advisors, and activity 4 also had 10 mentors. Additionally, in activity 5, 11 students have been involved so far in the bridge to engineering program and additional efforts are being made to recruit more.

Vasquez, H., & Pierce, V. U., & Crown, S. W., & Fuentes, A. A. (2018, June), Board 152: An Ecosystem for Success in Engineering and Computer Science Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/29955

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