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Fostering Technology Student Success Through Community Building and Financial Support

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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

Two-year College Division: Authors Address Transfer Matters-Part II

Tagged Division

Two Year College Division

Tagged Topic


Page Count


Page Numbers

26.793.1 - 26.793.15



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Paper Authors


Laura E. LeMire The Community College of Baltimore County

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Upon graduation from the University of Maryland at College Park with her masters in geotechnical engineering, Laura went to work for Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE) where during her career there she was responsible for substation and transmission line construction projects, relocation and installation of BGE facilities for Oriole Park at Camden Yards and for the Light Rail, and for improving service reliability. After obtaining her MBA, Laura became the Director of Corporate Purchasing and was a financial analyst in Investor Relations. Laura left the utility to become the Director of Women’s Sports at STX, Inc., a sporting goods manufacturer where she became the holder of four patents. Returning to the classroom once again, Laura obtained a Masters in environmental engineering from UMBC and became an Affiliate Professor for Project Lead The Way. Laura is the Engineering Department Chair at the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) where she has built an engineering technology program and doubled the size of the engineering transfer program by stimulating interest in high school students, training PLTW teachers, and obtaining scholarships to help students cope with the expense of college. In addition, she is the PI on three NSF grants. In her spare time, Laura continues her pursuit of athletics, toils in her garden, and travels the world.

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Fostering Technology Student Success through Community Building and Financial SupportThe Community College ___________conducted a program from Fall 2010 through Spring 2014that combined community building activities with financial support for technology students. Theprimary goal of the program, T4: Technology Training for Today and Tomorrow (T4 STEM),was to provide educational opportunities to low-income, academically talented CommunityCollege ___________ students through scholarships and student support services to promotefull-time enrollment and degree attainment in STEM technology disciplines. With fundingprovided by the National Science Foundation, 189 scholarships were awarded to a total of 68students with 34% of the scholarships being awarded to females. The majors of the recipientswere: Networking Technology/Information System Security (27), Information Technology(23), Engineering Technology (11), and Multimedia Technology (7). Minority groups that arehistorically under-represented in STEM fields constituted 58% of the awards, with 53% going toBlack/African-Americans, 2% to multi-racial scholars and 3% to Hispanic/Latinos. Each T4STEM scholar was assigned a mentor and required to attend workshops that included icebreakeractivities, career presentations, and teambuilding exercises. In addition to providing the studentswith tools for success in school and career, participation in the workshops fostered bondingbetween the students and the mentors and has led to the formation of a “technology community”that extends beyond Community College ___________ to the four-year institutions where thescholars have transferred. Program alumni frequently participated in the workshops, leddiscussions on the transfer process, and discussed employment opportunities. Student responsesto survey questions about the effectiveness of the workshops were overwhelmingly positive.Between 92% and 100% agreed that the workshops had a positive impact on their understandingof T4 STEM careers, helped them understand and prepare for job searches and the collegetransfer process, were effective, and helped make them feel like they were part of the T4 STEMcommunity.Faculty mentors provided students with advice and guidance to ensure their academic success.Based on survey results, 96% of respondents agreed that having a mentor was important to theirsuccess and all agreed they had a positive relationship with their mentor. Awardees wereencouraged to continue their studies at a four-year institution and were provided funding for upto two semesters after graduating or transferring, enabling them to reach greater success in theirfield. As of January 2015, 43 of the 68 recipients will have completed an associate’s degree with41 majoring in T4 STEM technology or related field. Twenty-four of the graduates and 5 otherscholars transferred to a four-year institution (all but one for a technology related major) and 5have graduated. Thirteen scholars are currently taking classes at Community College___________; eleven are pursuing the completion of their T4 STEM degree and two degrees in anon-STEM major. Only nine of the scholarship recipients (13%) have not transferred orgraduated from Community College ___________ and are not taking classes in Fall 2014.

LeMire, L. E. (2015, June), Fostering Technology Student Success Through Community Building and Financial Support Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24130

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: © 2015 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