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Improving Student Success in STEM with a Student Success Coach and Intrusive Advising

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


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Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

NSF Grantees: S-STEM 3

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NSF Grantees Poster Session

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Thomas G. Carter College of DuPage Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Tom Carter is a professor of physics and the chair of the physics discipline at the College of DuPage in suburban Chicago. He holds a PhD in physics from Duke University. His PhD thesis and post-doctoral research was in particle physics, although his current interest is in physics education research. Prior to his graduate work, Dr. Carter served as a diver and engineering officer in the US Navy’s Civil Engineer Corps. He holds a BS in civil engineering from the Missouri University of Science and Technology. He was named a Dale P. Parnell Distinguished Faculty by the American Association of Community College in 2020 and the Outstanding Faculty Member of the Year by the College of DuPage in 2018.

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Richard H. Jarman College of DuPage

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Susan Fenwick College of DuPage

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Thomas Olai Schrader College of DuPage

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Cory Michael DiCarlo College of DuPage

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We will present the results of a STEM Student Success program funded by the National Science Foundation’s Division of Undergraduate Education at a large suburban two-year college. The objectives program are to (1) increase the number of financially needy and academically talented students who graduate or transfer in a STEM program and (2) improve the retention and completion rates of STEM students through individualized and group support systems. The project was launched in the fall semester of 2016 and will run for five years. Up to 60 students will receive full scholarships and support for up to two years to aid in their completion a two-year program for graduation or transfer in either Chemistry, Physics, or Engineering

A central feature of the program is the use of a STEM Student Success Coach as the first line of support for participating STEM students. The Student Success Coach provides personal one-on-one advising sessions and arranges workshops and other STEM activities on and off campus. Just as important, the S-STEM coach provides close and enforced academic monitoring. Students were required to provide grade reporting sheets at the midpoint of the semester and cannot drop a course without the permission of the coach. The use of the Success Coach provides a testing ground for the “intrusive advising” method used in the Guided Pathways support model currently being implemented at numerous two-year colleges, including our institution.

We will present the most recent results of both qualitative survey feedback from the supported students along with quantitative results of their course success rates compared to their peers. As of May 2019 100% of the responding indicated they were extremely (94%) or somewhat (6%) satisfied with their overall experience in the S-STEM program. All students indicated their meetings with the S-STEM Student Success Coach were extremely or somewhat informative. In addition, success rate of S-STEM students is higher than the other students in all STEM courses (e.g. calculus I, engineering statics, physics I). At the present time, the actual impact of the Student Success Coach on academic success remains to be determined as incoming ACT scores indicate that the S-STEM cohort is academically better prepared. Further analysis is planned to investigate this. Additional updated and detailed information will be provided on our poster.

Carter, T. G., & Jarman, R. H., & Fenwick, S., & Schrader, T. O., & DiCarlo, C. M. (2020, June), Improving Student Success in STEM with a Student Success Coach and Intrusive Advising Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34800

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