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Board 250: Developing and Implementing Innovation-based Academic Content and Experiences for First-Year Low-Income Students

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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

4

DOI

10.18260/1-2--42694

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/42694

Download Count

81

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Paper Authors

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Karl D. Schubert, FIET University of Arkansas Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-8289-9501

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Dr. Karl D. Schubert is a Professor of Practice and serves as the Associate Director for the Data Science Program for the University of Arkansas.

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Carol S. Gattis University of Arkansas

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Dr. Carol Gattis is the Associate Dean Emeritus of the Honors College and Adjunct Associate Professor in Industrial Engineering at the University of Arkansas. She has 30+ years of successful STEM educational program design, development, and research relative to engineering and honors student recruitment, retention, diversity, international education, innovation and course development.

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Xochitl Delgado Solorzano University of Arkansas

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Xochitl Delgado Solorzano is the director of the Honors College Path Program at the University of Arkansas. In this capacity she oversees all aspects of the Path Program, including recruitment and student success, grant requirements, and fundraising.

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Leslie Bartsch Massey University of Arkansas

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Leslie Massey is an instructor in the First-Year Engineering Program at the University of Arkansas. She received her BS in Biological Engineering and MS in Environmental Engineering from the University of Arkansas. She previously served as a project mana

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Jennie S Popp, Ph.D. University of Arkansa

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Jennie Popp, Ph.D. is a Professor of Agricultural Economics and the Associate Dean of the Honors College at University of Arkansas. As Associate Dean, Dr. Popp contributes to student success initiatives through the management of Honors College study abroa

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Divya Muralidhara University of Arkansas

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Thomas Carter III University of Arkansas

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Abstract

The need to significantly increase the number of STEM innovators is well-documented and is one of the key focus areas for our university, our state, our country, and for NSF. This is especially true for low-income students who do not have the same opportunities to develop their innovation skills. The expected paths through extra-curricular activities, observing side-by-side with innovators, unpaid internships, mentorships, or being able to take additional courses beyond the requirements of their degrees are rarely available.

To address this, a 2-week undergraduate bridge program and two-semester first-year innovation courses were developed, particularly focused on STEM majors from low-income backgrounds. The design uses innovation-based instruction, exercises, industry-experienced lecturers, field trips, and individual and team projects.

The researchers at the University of Arkansas, with funding from the NSF Division of Undergraduate Education (HER/DUE) of an S-STEM grant, have the objective of increasing the number of low-income students with innovation training and experience and graduating with a STEM degree.

The intersession course teaches students about the innovation process and gives them the opportunity to develop their innovative thinking and mindset. Two credit hours of the three-credit-hour course are devoted to innovation and one credit hour is devoted to student success approaches and becoming a welcomed member of the university community. Mentoring activities and cohort building are part of the Honors College Path Program which is designed to increase the retention of underrepresented students.

The two-semester first-year innovation course that follows provides a full-year reinforcement of the students’ learning and experiences from the intersession into an expanded innovation experience with additional honors engineering and honors business students. These combined teams have additional innovation process lectures, assignments, and in-class active learning experiences in the first semester. Near the end of the first semester, they form teams, identify an innovative product or service as their project, and at semester end, they present their written and oral proposal. In the second semester, they follow the processes learned in the first semester to develop their proposal into a proof-of-concept or prototype and participate in a year-end symposium with a presentation and poster.

We also discuss the results from iterative improvements made to the second intersession and the second two-semester courses based on the feedback from the first intersession student responses and researchers’ retrospectives.

Schubert,, K. D., & Gattis, C. S., & Delgado Solorzano, X., & Massey, L. B., & Popp,, J. S., & Muralidhara, D., & Carter, T. (2023, June), Board 250: Developing and Implementing Innovation-based Academic Content and Experiences for First-Year Low-Income Students Paper presented at 2023 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Baltimore , Maryland. 10.18260/1-2--42694

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