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Bronco Scholar - An Online Hub for STEM Student Research

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session II

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

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Paper Authors


Katherine A Azurin California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

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Katherine Azurin received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biology from California State University, Pomona in 2010. She is currently the Project Coordinator for the NSF-STEM Talent Expansion Program (STEP) at Cal Poly Pomona. During the span of the project, she has helped to establish the campus’s Office of Undergraduate Research as well as the development of its online repository, Bronco Scholar. She has a strong passion for making higher education accessible to first-generation, underrepresented students and engages time assisting the McNair Scholars Program at Cal Poly Pomona.

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Suzanna Conrad California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

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Suzanna Conrad is the Head of Digital Services & Technology in the University Library at Cal Poly Pomona. Suzanna obtained her MLIS from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 2011 and her MBA from the University of East London in 2006. Suzanna provides leadership for the planning, implementation, and support of digital collections and services for the University Library. Suzanna is the Convener for the ACRL Digital Curation Interest Group. Suzanna’s research interests include human-computer interaction, scholarly communication, and ethics in librarianship.

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Winny Dong California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

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In order to maintain the United States’ preeminence in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, the country must produce approximately one million more STEM professionals over the next decade than are projected to graduate at current rates (PCAST 2012). The National Science Foundation Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Talent Expansion Program (NSF-STEP) at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona has responded to the call. A commonly cited best-practice for increasing low-income, underrepresented minority (URM), and first-generation student participation in STEM includes undergraduate research. Through submitting and publishing research, students glean various personal benefits including presenting a professional representation of previously completed undergraduate work, increasing chances of graduate school acceptance, and distinguishing themselves in the job market (Jones & Canuel, 2013). Traditional publishing opportunities may be out of reach for some students engaged in undergraduate research, especially with semester-long apprenticeships (Pacifici and Thomson, 2011), however, an institutional repository can offer alternative publishing opportunities for showcasing research projects. Additionally, publishing their work in an institutional repository allows students to expand the knowledge and practice of other students currently conducting research by providing an existing knowledge base of student work.

At Cal Poly Pomona (CPP), the NSF-STEP team has collaborated with the University Library to establish an online repository, Bronco Scholar, providing persistent and reliable access to published scholarly and creative outputs of CPP faculty, staff, and students. Launched in February 2014, the repository was designed with the goals of increasing student interest in undergraduate research; facilitating collaborations between students and faculty mentors by providing a searchable space for finding faculty mentors with similar research interests; helping students understand expectations and opportunities in undergraduate research by referencing works in the repository; creating sustainability of previously developed STEP learning materials; and providing a showcase for student work created at Cal Poly Pomona. To date, undergraduate research included in the Cal Poly Pomona institutional repository consists of culminating reports from McNair Scholars, submissions from the annual Student Research Conference, and exemplary research papers written by undergraduate students that were recommended for publication by faculty members. It has expanded to include digital scholarship across disciplines and serve as a permanent space for digital files. The collection has increased from 50 learning objects since launching to over 500 objects with a projected growth of over 500 objects yearly. Using stable URLs generated in Bronco Scholar for tracking, student research is the most frequently downloaded content in Bronco Scholar, constituting 85% of all traffic. Documenting these works in a central, professional repository increases campus-wide awareness of the types of research and learning occurring on campus, which can open up opportunities for networking and research collaboration, as well as retain target students in STEM fields. Data reflecting the impact of Bronco Scholar on student success and career choices will be discussed in this article.

Azurin, K. A., & Conrad, S., & Dong, W. (2016, June), Bronco Scholar - An Online Hub for STEM Student Research Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26399

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