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Board 207: ACCESS in STEM: An S-STEM Project Supporting Economically Disadvantaged STEM-Interested Students in Their First Two Years

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Conference

2023 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Baltimore , Maryland

Publication Date

June 25, 2023

Start Date

June 25, 2023

End Date

June 28, 2023

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count

22

DOI

10.18260/1-2--42618

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/42618

Download Count

197

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Paper Authors

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Erica Cline

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Menaka Abraham

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Sarah Alaei

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Heather Dillon University of Washington, Tacoma Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-4467-2306

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Dr. Heather Dillon is Professor and Chair of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Washington Tacoma. Her research team is working on energy efficiency, renewable energy, fundamental heat transfer, and engineering education. Before joining academia, she worked for the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) as a senior research engineer working on both energy efficiency and renewable energy systems, where she received the US Department of Energy Office of Science Outstanding Mentor Award.

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Joyce Dinglasan-Panlilio

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Jutta Beneken Heller

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Zaher Kmail

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Seung-Jin Lee University of Washington, Tacoma Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-1255-0619

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Seung-Jin Lee, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Washington Tacoma. His research focus is on the life cycle sustainability of emerging technologies, such as transportation, biofuels, green buildings, and consumer products. His tools of research include life cycle assessment (LCA), industrial ecology, material flow analysis, energy efficiency, market diffusion models, reuse and recycling, and sustainable development. He has published in leading journals in sustainability and environmental engineering, including the Journal of Cleaner Production, Environmental Engineering Science, Waste Management & Research, Journal of Industrial Ecology, International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, Sustainability, and Resources, Conservation & Recycling. Prior to his position at UWT, he was an Associate Professor in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Michigan-Flint (UM-Flint). During his time at UM-Flint, he was the recipient of the Dr. Lois Matz Rosen Junior Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award (2017). He completed his postdoctoral fellowship at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's National Risk Management Research Laboratory in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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Eva Yihua Ma

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Marc Nahmani

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Ka Yee Yeung

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Abstract

Achieving Change in our Communities for Equity and Student Success (ACCESS) in STEM at the University of Washington Tacoma started as a Track 1 S-STEM program in 2018 and has supported 69 students to date. This year we received Track 2 funding and welcomed our fifth cohort to campus, with funding to support ~32 additional students through 2026. University of Washington Tacoma is an Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-serving institution (AANAPISI), and we serve a high proportion of racial minority and first generation college students. Our ACCESS scholars are pursuing bachelor’s degrees in Mathematics, Environmental Science, Biomedical Sciences, Information Technology, Computer Science and Systems, Computer Engineering and Systems, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Civil Engineering, with Computer Science and Engineering representing over 60% of ACCESS scholars to date. First-time college students and first-year transfer students receive full scholarships for their first two years, and partial scholarships for their third and fourth years. The project includes an optional Early Fall Math course to enhance entry into STEM majors, and participants are able to engage in a Research Experience or project-based Introduction to Engineering course in their first year. Coupled with individual faculty mentoring and an on-campus STEM living learning community, the quarterly Success in STEM seminar course helps scholars form a cohesive community through group mentoring, as well as develop a sense of belonging, identity, and empowerment to transform the culture of STEM. This program is distinguished by its focus on pre-STEM majors in their first and second years on campus, and includes mentor training for ~30-40 faculty in teaching and mentoring diverse student populations, thus impacting all students in our majors.

Our goal was to evaluate the effectiveness of a program that focuses on the first two years of college and provides financial support, courses to introduce students to research and project-based engineering, and intensive mentoring in increasing retention and academic success for Computer Science and Engineering (CS+E) students, and whether this program helps to close equity gaps for CS+E students who are low socioeconomic status (SES), underrepresented minorities (URMs), female, and/or first generation in college (First Gen) students. We compared our student scholars to a comparison group of students who met eligibility requirements but did not participate in the program. Program scholars had higher first and second year retention, and had significantly higher GPAs. The pandemic resulted in significant social, emotional, and economic stresses for our program scholars, which may have heightened the impact of the ACCESS in STEM program.

Cline, E., & Abraham, M., & Alaei, S., & Dillon, H., & Dinglasan-Panlilio, J., & Heller, J. B., & Kmail, Z., & Lee, S., & Ma, E. Y., & Nahmani, M., & Sesko, A. K., & Yeung, K. Y. (2023, June), Board 207: ACCESS in STEM: An S-STEM Project Supporting Economically Disadvantaged STEM-Interested Students in Their First Two Years Paper presented at 2023 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Baltimore , Maryland. 10.18260/1-2--42618

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