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Development and Implementation of a Pathway Assessment Model for the ASPIRE Program

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

NSF Grantees’ Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.511.1 - 26.511.13



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Paper Authors


Maria-Isabel Carnasciali University of New Haven Orcid 16x16

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Maria-Isabel Carnasciali is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the Tagliatela College of Engineering, University of New Haven, CT. She obtained her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech in 2008. She received her Bachelors of Engineering from MIT in 2000. Her research focuses on the nontraditional engineering student – understanding their motivations, identity development, and impact of prior engineering-related experiences. Her work dwells into learning in informal settings such as summer camps, military experiences, and extra-curricular activities. Other research interests involve validation of CFD models for aerospace applications as well as optimizing efficiency of thermal-fluid systems.

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Jean Nocito-Gobel University of New Haven

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Jean Nocito-Gobel, Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering at the University of New Haven, received her Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She has been actively involved in a number of educational initiatives in the Tagliatela College of Engineering including KEEN and PITCH, PI of the ASPIRE grant, and is the coordinator for the first-year Intro to Engineering course. Her professional interests include modeling the transport and fate of contaminants in groundwater and surface water systems, as well as engineering education reform.

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Christopher Martinez University of New Haven

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Christopher Martinez is an assistant professor of computer engineering at the University of New Haven. His area of research is in the field of human computer interaction with a focus on embedded system interfacing.

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Mark J Graham Ph.D. Yale University

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As Evaluation Director at the Center for Teaching and Learning of Yale University, Mark Graham directs program evaluation initiatives as part of a national effort to transform undergraduate science teaching. His primary responsibility is evaluation of the National Academics Summer Institutes for Undergraduate Education with financial support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He also co-directs a National Science Foundation (NSF) supported investigation of the Summer Institutes’ impact on faculty teaching and student achievement. In addition, Dr. Graham collaborates with university departments and offices on how to evaluate the success of a program or initiative. He received a B.A. in economics with honors (magna cum laude) from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and a Ph.D. in educational psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University. His prior experience includes a one-year National Institutes of Health (NIH) supported post-doctoral traineeship in biomedical informatics, and then seven years as director of education research at Columbia University’s College of Physicians & Surgeons. At Yale since 2011, Dr. Graham has assumed positions of increasing responsibility and evaluation project management. He has published a number of peer-reviewed articles on evaluation, assessment, and, recently in the journal Science, student persistence in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields. At New Haven Reads, Mark works as a volunteer with New Haven K-12 kids on their reading skills and homework.

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Development and Implementation of a Pathway Assessment Model for the ASPIRE ProgramThe University [ ] received S-STEM funding for A Scholarship Program to Increase Retention inEngineering (ASPIRE): Improving Work-Study-Life Balance. The goal of the 5 year program isto improve retention, particularly in the sophomore and junior years, for engineering studentswho show academic potential but are at risk of not completing their studies due to financialconcerns and/or life-work-study balance issues. The ASPIRE program aims to accomplish thisby: providing scholarships for sophomore and junior level matriculated students based on bothfinancial need and merit; recruiting and providing scholarships to community college transferstudents; providing support services including peer tutors, conferences, lectures, presentations,and career planning workshops; and increasing student engagement in college- and university-wide activities that contribute to persistence.This paper details the process of development and implementation of a systems approach toevaluation, where the assumption is that our program is itself lodged in a larger system withvarious stakeholder interests and desired outcomes. The assessment plan was created by usinglogic and pathway models that relate activities in the ASPIRE Program to short term, mediumterm, and long term outcomes. The assessment plan further identifies how activities supportoutcomes and also shows how outcomes at one level support outcomes at a different level.Measurement tools were designed and implemented on the first group of scholarship recipients.Modifications were made based on collected data. Currently, 3 cohorts have received ASPIREawards. The paper concludes with the challenges and successes of the implementation andassessment of the NSF S-STEM award.

Carnasciali, M., & Nocito-Gobel, J., & Martinez, C., & Graham, M. J. (2015, June), Development and Implementation of a Pathway Assessment Model for the ASPIRE Program Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23849

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