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Board 60: Lessons Learned from a NSF S-STEM Project in a Rural and Hispanic Serving Institution

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


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

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Paper Authors


Ivan Lopez Hurtado Northern New Mexico College

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IVAN LOPEZ HURTADO received his B.S. degree in Industrial Physics Engineering from Tec de Monterrey, Monterrey, Mexico, 1995. M.S. degree in Automation from Tec de Monterrey, Monterrey, Mexico, 1998 and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, USA in 2008. He is currently the Provost and Vice-President for Academic Affairs at Northern New Mexico College, Associate Professor of the College of Engineering and Technology, and Principal Investigator for an NSF S-STEM project. Previously, he served as Dean of the College of Engineering and Technology and Chair for the Department of Engineering at the same institution.

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Jorge Crichigno University of South Carolina

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Dr. Jorge Crichigno received his Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, in 2009. Prior to that, he received his M.Sc. and B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from the University of New Mexico and from the Catholic University of Asuncion respectively, in 2008 and 2004. Dr. Crichigno is currently Associate Professor in the Department of Integrated Information Technology, College of Engineering and Computing, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC. In 2016, he was a visiting professor in the Florida Center for Cybersecurity, Tampa, FL. His research interests include high-speed networks, network security and Science DMZs, and STEM education. He has served as reviewer and TPC member of journals and conferences such as IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing and IEEE Globecom, and as panelist for NSF STEM education initiatives. He is a member of the IEEE Computer Society.

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Ashis Nandy Northern New Mexico College

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Dr. Ashis Nandy is an Associate Professor of Electromechanical Engineering Technology at the Northern New Mexico College, Espanola, New Mexico. He graduated from the Pennsylvania State University with a Ph. D. in Mechanical Engineering in 2012. He also has a Master degree in Aerospace Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, India. Dr. Nandy is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE).

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For the last four years, the College of Engineering and Technology at Northern New Mexico College (NNMC) has implemented a NSF S-STEM Project named Pathways for Engineering: Access to Resources for Learning (PEARL). The program has benefited more than 50 different students with more than 150 scholarship awards assigned in this period.

The institution is in a highly underserved rural community with 77% of the students receiving Pell Grants or some other type of financial aid. In addition, 60% of the students are first generation college students (when dual credit students are excluded). The student body demographics are 72% Hispanic, 9% Native American, 9% White, 2% African American, and 8% other.

The objectives of the project include: 1) to enhance educational opportunities for under-represented minorities by focusing on the recruitment of full-time students from the region into one of two existing Engineering Baccalaureate programs offered at our institution; 2) to provide sufficient financial resources to enable students to focus on their education, complete their degrees, and prepare for a career and/or graduate studies; 3) to increase the retention rate and monitor each supported student’s progress to ensure their completion of degree requirements within a reasonable time frame; 4) to encourage students to graduate and continue their education in graduate school, or obtain employment in local industry, such as a nearby national laboratory; and 5) to engage scholarship recipients in college activities and encourage college service career options, such as teaching and research.

The indicators measuring the effectiveness of the project are: 1) increasing the degree progress rate; this means that scholarship recipients will successfully complete a minimum of 12 credit hours towards the degree per semester; 2) increasing the overall GPA of student recipients; the target will be a 3.5 average for the cohort; 3) increasing the number of students involved in undergraduate research projects within the College of Engineering and Technology; and 4) increasing job opportunities for scholarship recipients.

This paper describes partial results and lessons learned from this project. It also discusses some results in terms of goals and performance indicators, particularly, the high retention rate of the participants in comparison to students with comparable academic performance. Emphasis is given on ideas that could assist other similar projects.

Lopez Hurtado, I., & Crichigno, J., & Nandy, A. (2018, June), Board 60: Lessons Learned from a NSF S-STEM Project in a Rural and Hispanic Serving Institution Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30069

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