Asee peer logo

Developing A Learner Centered Environment To Meet The Needs Of A Growing Urban Commuter Student Population

Download Paper |


2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

ASEE Multimedia Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.391.1 - 8.391.9

Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Benjamin Flores

author page

Rosa Gomez-Martinez

author page

Joseph Ramos

author page

Lourdes Sanchez-Contreras

Download Paper |

NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2793

Developing a learner centered environment to meet the needs of a growing urban commuter student population

Lourdes Sánchez-Contreras, Rosa M. Gómez, Joseph Ramos, Benjamin C. Flores, and Helmut Knaust

Model Institutions for Excellence Program The University of Texas at El Paso


The Colleges of Engineering and Science at the University of Texas at El Paso have developed a multi-faceted system based on peer support to address the particular needs of science and engineering majors. At the core of this strategy is a strong commitment to develop the critical thinking and leadership skills of a selected cohort of undergraduate students. These students act as peer mentors, tutors, team leaders, and role models for the undergraduate science and engineering student population. A synergistic effort is achieved by bringing together the resources of the Academic Center for Engineers and Scientists (ACES), the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program, and the Circles of Learning for Entering Students (CircLES). Through the use of existing facilities and services available at ACES, a wide network of mentoring, coaching, and tutoring has become the principal support system for a large student commuter population. In this article we will discuss the development of this successful peer support system, the synergy generated by the ACES, REU, and CircLES staff, and the outcome of the effort.

1. Introduction

The student population at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) has gradually changed over the past twenty-five years [1]. Current student demographics make UTEP the largest Mexican-American serving institution in the nation (See Table 1). Its mission is to serve the economically underdeveloped region from which it draws most of its students. In 1995, the National Science Foundation and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration recognized this effort and designated UTEP as one of six minority- serving Model Institutions for Excellence (MIE) nationwide. UTEP was charged with the development of pathways for the success of under-represented minorities pursuing baccalaureate degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference &Exposition Copyright © 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

Flores, B., & Gomez-Martinez, R., & Ramos, J., & Sanchez-Contreras, L. (2003, June), Developing A Learner Centered Environment To Meet The Needs Of A Growing Urban Commuter Student Population Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee.

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2003 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015