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Enhancing the Success of Minority STEM Students by Providing Financial, Academic, Social, and Cultural Capital

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

California on the Move: A Robust Array of Student Success Initiatives

Tagged Division

Two Year College Division

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.529.1 - 24.529.15



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Paper Authors


Amelito G Enriquez Canada College Orcid 16x16

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Amelito Enriquez is a professor of Engineering and Mathematics at Canada College in Redwood City, CA. He received a BS in Geodetic Engineering from the University of the Philippines, his MS in Geodetic Science from the Ohio State University, and his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Irvine. His research interests include technology-enhanced instruction and increasing the representation of female, minority and other underrepresented
groups in mathematics, science and engineering.

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Catherine Baker Lipe

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Brandon Price

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Enhancing the Success of Minority STEM Students by Providing Financial, Academic, Social, and Cultural CapitalAbstract:Research has shown that student achievement is influenced by their access to, orpossession of, various forms of capital. These forms of capital include financial capital,academic capital (prior academic preparation and access to academic support services),cultural capital (the attitudes, knowledge, and behaviors related to education whichstudents are exposed to by members of their family or community), and social capital (theresources students have access to as a result of being members of groups or networks).For community college students, many with high financial need and the first in theirfamilies to go to college (especially those from underrepresented minority groups),developing programs to increase access to these various forms of capital is critical to theirsuccess. This paper describes how a small federally designated Hispanic-servingcommunity college has developed a scholarship program for financially needycommunity college students intending to transfer to a four-year institution to pursue abachelor’s degree in a STEM field. Developed through a National Science FoundationScholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S-STEM) grant,the program involves a collaboration among STEM faculty, college staff, administrators,student organizations, and partners in industry, four-year institutions, local high schools,and professional organizations. In addition to providing financial support through thescholarships, student access to academic capital is increased through an intensive mathreview program, tutoring, study groups, supplemental instruction, and research internshipopportunities. Access to cultural and social capital is increased by providing scholarswith faculty mentors; engaging students with STEM faculty, university researchers, andindustry professionals through field trips, summer internships, professional organizations,and student clubs; supporting student and faculty participation at professionalconferences, and providing opportunities for students and their families to interact withfaculty and staff. The paper details the development of the program, and its impact overthe last five years on enhancing the success of STEM students as determined from dataon student participation in various program activities, student attitudinal and self-efficacysurveys, and academic performance including persistence, retention, transfer andgraduation.

Enriquez, A. G., & Lipe, C. B., & Price, B. (2014, June), Enhancing the Success of Minority STEM Students by Providing Financial, Academic, Social, and Cultural Capital Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20421

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