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Board # 21 : I get by with a little help from my PEEPS: Learning from an NSF S-STEM cohort scholarship program

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Conference

2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

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

13

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/27806

Download Count

63

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Paper Authors

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Katherine C. Chen California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

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Dr. Katherine C. Chen is Professor and Chair of the Materials Engineering department at the California Polytechnic (Cal Poly) State University, San Luis Obispo. Her degrees in Materials Science are from Michigan State University and MIT. She teaches a wide variety of different engineering courses and her research interests include diversity in STEM, lifelong learning, and informal education.

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Lizabeth T Schlemer California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

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Lizabeth is a professor at Cal Poly, SLO in Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering. She has been teaching for 23 years and has continued to develop innovative pedagogy such as project based, flipped classroom, and competency grading. Through the SUSTAIN SLO learning initiative she and her colleagues have been active researching in transformation in higher education.

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Emily E Liptow California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

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Emily Liptow is an AmeriCorps VISTA member at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. She is involved with a variety of diversity and inclusion efforts in the College of Engineering ranging from student support programs, faculty bias awareness trainings, and inclusive cultural change. She is a recent Industrial and Systems Engineering graduate from Ohio State University, where she was also very involved with social justice initiatives.

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Jaclyn Duerr California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

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Jackie Duerr works as a Coordinator for the Multicultural Engineering Program at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Teaching experience includes Engineering Student Success and Multicultural Counseling courses. Research interests encompass advocacy, recruitment, retention, and graduation for under-served students in STEM, with a special interest in first generation and transfer student experiences.

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Helene Finger P.E. Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo

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Helene Finger has been a faculty member in the Civil/Environmental Engineering Department at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo since 1997, with a break from 2007-2010 to pursue her PhD in Mechanical Engineering focusing on computational science and engineering and thermo-fluid sciences. At Cal Poly, she teaches courses in Water Resources and Water Quality. In 2000, she took on the additional roles of Director of the Women’s Engineering Program and advising the Cal Poly section of the Society of Women Engineers.

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Jane L. Lehr California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

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Jane Lehr is Chair of the Women's & Gender Studies Department at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. She is also an Associate Professor in Ethnic Studies and Faculty Director of the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority and Underrepresented Student Participation in STEM Program at Cal Poly. She previously served as elected co-chair of the Science & Technology Taskforce of the National Women's Studies Association, and as a Postdoctoral Research Officer at the Centre for Informal Learning and Schools (CILS) at King's College, University of London. Her graduate training is in Science & Technology Studies and Women's Studies at Virginia Tech.

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Abstract

PEEPS (Program for Engineering Excellence for Partner Schools) is an NSF S-STEM funded grant. Our Partner Schools are high schools that have a large percentage of students who qualify for the National School Lunch program, and thus are likely to have low socioeconomic status and be first generation and/or underrepresented minorities (URM). The scholarship program aims to form cohorts, or “posses” or “peeps,” of students that support one another throughout their time in college.

In our third year of the project, we report upon some of the formative assessment of the scholarship program. Currently our students are in their 2nd and 3rd years in various engineering programs at a 4-year university. We find some interesting differences between our two cohorts of PEEPS, in terms of their transition from high school to college, their subsequent performance in college, and the interactions among and across the cohorts. While our cohort sizes are quite small, we are able to delve deeper into understanding individual student’s experiences and perspectives through periodic check-ins, social events, and an end-of-the-year focus group facilitated by a project evaluator.

Thus we will not only report common institutional indicators, such as grade point averages and degree progress, compared with other groups, but we will also integrate qualitative findings that help us discern the effectiveness of different program components (e.g., cohort scheduling, study sessions, engineering success courses, mentoring, advising, social events, etc.). The utilization of available resources by the students is also examined.

We seek to move beyond a “deficit model” and embrace our student’s unique “funds of knowledge” and assist them in viewing their backgrounds and individual strengths as assets as engineers. Not only does this framework guide our scholarship program, but also the Engineering Success courses that have been developed through this grant. Our results are being used to inform other initiatives around campus as we work with other entities (such as another scholarship program and the Multicultural Engineering Program) to impact a greater number of students.

Chen, K. C., & Schlemer, L. T., & Liptow, E. E., & Duerr, J., & Finger, H., & Lehr, J. L. (2017, June), Board # 21 : I get by with a little help from my PEEPS: Learning from an NSF S-STEM cohort scholarship program Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/27806

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