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Board 89: Broadening Participation in Engineering by Enhancing Community College to University Partnerships: Findings from a Tri-institutional NSF Grant Partnership

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Conference

2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count

4

DOI

10.18260/1-2--32452

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/32452

Download Count

133

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Paper Authors

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Walter C. Lee Virginia Tech Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-5082-1411

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Dr. Walter Lee is an assistant professor in the Department of Engineering Education and the assistant director for research in the Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity (CEED), both at Virginia Tech. His research interests include co-curricular support, student success and retention, and diversity. Lee received his Ph.D in engineering education from Virginia Tech, his M.S. in industrial & systems engineering from Virginia Tech, and his B.S. in industrial engineering from Clemson University.

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Dustin M. Grote Virginia Tech Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-9189-2424

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Dustin currently serves as the Graduate Research Assistant for the Virginia Tech Network for Engineering Transfer Students (VT-NETS) Program with the Engineering Education Department at Virginia Tech. His research focuses primarily on access issues for underrepresented/minority and low income students to bachelor degrees through community college pathways, curricular complexity for transfer pathways into engineering, higher education policy as barriers to access, and assessment and evaluation in a higher education context. Dustin is currently completing a PhD in Higher Education Research, Policy, and Finance.

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David B. Knight Virginia Tech Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-4576-2490

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David B. Knight is an Associate Professor and Assistant Department Head of Graduate Programs in the Department of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. He is also Director of International Engagement in Engineering Education, directs the Rising Sophomore Abroad Program, and is affiliate faculty with the Higher Education Program. His research tends to be at the macro-scale, focused on a systems-level perspective of how engineering education can become more effective, efficient, and inclusive, tends to be data-driven by leveraging large-scale institutional, state, or national data sets, and considers the intersection between policy and organizational contexts. He has B.S., M.S., and M.U.E.P. degrees from the University of Virginia and a Ph.D. in Higher Education from Pennsylvania State University.

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Abbey Rowe Erwin Virginia Tech

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Abbey Rowe Erwin is a Ph.D. student in the Higher Education Program at Virginia Tech. Her research interests focus on the transfer student experience, particularly the impact of institutional policies on transfer student success and the role of collaborative programming between two-year and four-year institutions. She has a B.B.A. from Roanoke College and a M.Ed. in Higher Education from the University of South Carolina.

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Bevlee A. Watford P.E. Virginia Tech

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Watford is Professor of Engineering Education, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Director of the Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity.

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Abstract

Community colleges are often touted as cost-effective gateways to four-year universities for academically talented low-income students. However, four-year institutions often play an insignificant role in turning this promise into reality. Funded through the National Science Foundation (NSF) Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Program (S-STEM) program, the Virginia Tech Network for Engineering Transfer Students (VT-NETS) project focuses to improve collaboration efforts between Virginia Tech (VT), and two primary community college partners: Virginia Western Community College (VWCC), and Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA). The primary project objective of VT-NETS is to determine how a four-year institution can increase the success and efficiency of engineering transfer through community college-to-bachelor’s degree pathways, increasing attainment of A.S. and B.S. degrees in engineering by students from underrepresented groups. From a research perspective, we do so by analyzing both academic and non-academic factors that promote student access and progress through the community college to university pathway to the engineering industry, as well as identifying common barriers which are prohibitive in the pathway. Leveraging quantitative analyses of student data for transfer and non-transfer students in engineering, as well as qualitative data collected from interviews and focus groups with students and key faculty and staff stakeholders working within the transfer space, we expand current work on transfer student capital, articulation agreement efficacy, transfer support services, enrollment and guaranteed transfer policies, coursework transfer processes, and co-curricular support programs. Our poster will highlight major findings thus far, including the: impact of integrating community college students into university study abroad programs as a cohort of support for transfer students; complexity of pre- and co-requisite course structures delaying degree progress; challenges in transfer of coursework processes and policies; critical combinations of courses that inhibit academic success for first semester transfer students; and learnings from cross-institutional grant partnerships for community colleges with universities. The poster showcases the impact of collaborative partnerships to improve our understanding of transfer pathways, what parts of community college-university partnerships effectively support student access and success, and what gaps exist that become barriers for transfer students to degree attainment in engineering. Advancing a key deliverable from this NSF grant, our project serves as an example for how to establish stronger networks between a university and the state community college system. Further, we provide a guide for four-year institutions and community colleges educators to develop new interventions which enhance transfer pathways as well as identify pitfalls or gaps in services and transfer structures that need be remedied. Ultimately, these findings illuminate and help prioritize the human, financial, and physical resources dedicated towards supporting all transfer students in engineering.

Lee, W. C., & Grote, D. M., & Knight, D. B., & Erwin, A. R., & Watford, B. A. (2019, June), Board 89: Broadening Participation in Engineering by Enhancing Community College to University Partnerships: Findings from a Tri-institutional NSF Grant Partnership Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32452

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