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Board 33: The SEECRS Scholar Academy at Whatcom Community College: An S-STEM Scholarship Program

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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 Topics

Diversity and NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count

14

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/30010

Download Count

21

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Paper Authors

biography

Tommaso A. Vannelli Whatcom Community College

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Dr. Tommaso A. Vannelli is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Whatcom Community College in Bellingham, WA. He holds a B.S. in Chemistry with a minor in Environmental Studies from Tufts University. He earned his M.S. and Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of California at San Diego. He is the co-Principal Investigator (co-PI) of the NSF-funded S-STEM scholarship program at Whatcom Community College. Tommaso is actively developing a research program at Whatcom Community College and is interested in providing students with authentic practice of science experiences through their courses and independent study.

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Eric Davishahl Whatcom Community College Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-9506-2658

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Eric Davishahl is faculty and engineering program coordinator at Whatcom Community College. His teaching and research interests include developing, implementing and assessing active learning instructional strategies and auto-graded online homework. Eric has been a member of ASEE since 2001. He currently serves as chair of the Pacific Northwest Section and was the recipient of the 2008 Section Outstanding Teaching Award.

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Michael Jason Babcock Whatcom Community College

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Jason Babcock is the Director of the Learning Center at Whatcom Community College. Dr. Babcock earned his Ph.D. From the University of Washington in 2017. His teaching and research interests center on the development of STEM identity, and the negotiation of belonging by students holding identities traditionally underrepresented in STEM fields.

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Dan Hanley Western Washington University

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Dan Hanley directs an educational research and evaluation team at Western Washington University. Over the past 15 years, Dan has developed and conducted studies and evaluations for numerous organizations, including the National Science Foundation, Washington State OSPI, Washington Student Achievement Council, the Office of Naval Research, and the Colorado Department of Education. In 2000-2001, Dan was the recipient of a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship, where he examined Norway’s system of school-based evaluation. His current research interests include preK-16 STEM education reform and STEM teacher preparation.

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Ed Harri Whatcom Community College

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Mr. Harri serves as the Vice President for Instruction at Whatcom Community College, where he was worked for 18 years. At WCC, he has served as a tenured math faculty, department chair, division chair, dean, and vice president. He is currently completing his doctorate in education with a focus on community college leadership. He has served in leadership roles on statewide councils focused on facilitating effective student transfer between community colleges and baccalaureate institutions in Washington State. He is passionate about helping faculty and staff support community college students in reaching their educational and career goals.

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Abstract

The STEM Excellence through Engagement in Collaboration, Research, and Scholarship (SEECRS) project at Whatcom Community College is a five-year program aiming to support academically talented students with demonstrated financial need in biology, chemistry, geology, computer science, engineering, and physics. This project is funded by an NSF S-STEM (Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) grant awarded in January 2017. Through an inclusive and long-range effort, the college identified a strong need for financial and comprehensive supports for STEM students. This project will offer financial, academic, and professional support to three two-year cohorts of students. The SEECRS project aims to utilize a STEM-specific guided pathways approach to strengthen recruitment, retention, and matriculation of STEM students at the community college level.

Scholarship recipients will be supported through participation in the SEECRS Scholars Academy, a multi-pronged approach to student support combining elements of community building, faculty mentorship, targeted advising activities, authentic science practice, and social activities. Students are introduced to disciplines of interest through opportunities to engage in course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) in Biology, Chemistry and Engineering courses, funded summer research opportunities, and seminars presented by STEM professionals. Communities of practice will be nurtured through the introduction of cohort building and faculty mentorship. Cohort development starts with a required two-credit course for all scholars that emphasizes STEM identity development, specifically focusing on identifying and coping with the ways non-dominant individuals (racial/ethnic minorities, non-male gender, lower socioeconomic status, first-generation, 2-year community college vs. 4-year institutions) are made to feel as outsiders in STEM. Each SEECRS scholar is paired with a faculty mentor who engages in ongoing mentor training. The project evaluation will determine the efficacy of the project activities in achieving their intended outcomes. Specifically, we will collect data to answer the research question: To what extent can a guided pathways approach provide a coordinated and supported STEM experience at Whatcom Community College that: (1) increases student success, and (2) positively shifts students’ STEM self-identity? The evaluation will employ a quasi-experimental research design, specifically a pretest-posttest design with a matched comparison group.

Our first cohort of 14 students was selected over two application rounds (winter and summer 2017). We awarded ten full scholarships and four half-scholarships based on financial need data. Cohort demographics of note compared to institutional percentages are: females (64% vs. 57%), Hispanic (14% vs. 17%), African American (7% vs. 2%), white (79% vs. 66%), first generation college bound (43% vs. 37%). The cohort is comprised of six students interested in engineering, six in biology, and one each in geology and environmental sciences. With increased communication between the project team, our Financial Aid office, Entry and Advising, high school outreach, and the Title III grant-funded Achieve, Inspire, Motivate (AIM) Program, as well as a longer advertising time, we anticipate significantly enhancing our applicant pool for the next cohort. The results and lessons learned from our first year of implementation will be presented.

Vannelli, T. A., & Davishahl, E., & Babcock, M. J., & Hanley, D., & Harri, E. (2018, June), Board 33: The SEECRS Scholar Academy at Whatcom Community College: An S-STEM Scholarship Program Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/30010

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