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Caribbean Computing Center for Excellence: Building Undergraduate Research Skills, Changing Perceptions of Post-Graduate Study

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

New Trends in ECE Education

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.308.1 - 22.308.13



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Paper Authors

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Juan F. Arratia Interamerican University of Puerto Rico


Martina Y. Trucco Hewlett-Packard Labs

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Martina Y. Trucco is responsible for research strategy and portfolio management at HP Labs, HP’s global corporate research lab. Previously, she worked in HP Labs’ Open Innovation Office and University Relations office, leading development of strategic university, commercial and government collaboration activities in the Latin America region, as well as creative and marketing activities for the team. She is passionate about education and technology, and a believer in the power of partnerships between industry, academia and government to effect change in education and foster economic development.

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Luis F. Font Ana G. Mendez University System

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Luis F. Font has a B.S. in Biological Sciences from University of Puerto Rico; and a M.B.A. in Marketing from Universidad Metropolitana of Puerto Rico. Luis has been working with students for his entire professional career. In 2005 he started as an Auxiliary Librarian helping and orientating students with their academic work. Later, he became AHORA Program Coordinator at Metropolitan University where he administrated the entire academic organization and execution programs in education, business and computer sciences. Luis has worked as Business Administration Professor where he teaches Marketing and Business Ethics courses to Undergraduates students. Since December 2009, he is the BPC-A Coordinator at Ana G. Mendez University System (AGMUS) for the Caribbean Computing Center for Excellence (CCCE) Alliance to support students to continue studies in computer related fields in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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Caribbean Computing Center for Excellence: Building Undergraduate Research Skills, Changing Perceptions of Post- Graduate StudyThe Caribbean Computing Center for Excellence (CCCE) was established in 2009 as apartnership between nine universities in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. This Alliancewas designed around the primary goal of increasing the recruitment and participation of studentsin computing disciplines. In order to fulfill this goal, this Alliance established the CCCE focusedon four main objectives: 1) reach and impact economically disadvantaged students with Allianceactivities; 2) increase the recruitment of high school seniors into computing fields through hands-on research experiences in a university setting; 3) provide professional training in computing toin-service science, computer and mathematics public and private high school teachers; 4) provideresearch experiences in computing to undergraduates, and ultimately, 5) increase the number ofgraduate students in computing fields and transfer 40% of BS graduates to graduate school.Additional partners for this project include the Puerto Rico Department of Education, theInstitute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) Computer Society Chapters in San Juanand Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, and public and private high schools. An extended partnership withacademic and industry research institutions in Puerto Rico, the US mainland, and abroad is alsopart of this Alliance.Through a grant from NSF, funds for the project total $2.25 million over three years to mentor345 undergraduates from participating institutions; train 948 science, computer and mathematicsteachers from Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands with workshops, teaching/learningstrategies and research experiences; improve student support research infrastructure, providestrong student support to increase retention and graduation; successfully transfer 40% of BSgraduates into graduate school; provide pre-college research activities for 1,008 students; impact1,200 economically-disadvantaged community members with careers in computing-related areas;and disseminate the Alliance’s model and best practices to other institutions in the Caribbean andnationwide.This paper will present the outcomes of the grant after one year of implementation in the areas ofpre-college research, Saturday research academy, summer research program for undergraduates,research symposia and transfer to graduate school in computer-related fields. We will alsodescribe the rationale behind the Alliance’s goals and activities, based on prior successfulprograms aimed at boosting transfer of undergraduate students to graduate study.

Arratia, J. F., & Trucco, M. Y., & Font, L. F. (2011, June), Caribbean Computing Center for Excellence: Building Undergraduate Research Skills, Changing Perceptions of Post-Graduate Study Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17589

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