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Increasing Retention of Underrepresented Minority Students in Engineering: The Diversity Programs Office - Scholars Program (DPO-SP)

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Conference

2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

FPD 3: Retention

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

Page Count

13

Page Numbers

24.737.1 - 24.737.13

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/20629

Download Count

31

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Paper Authors

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Claudia Elena Vergara Michigan State University

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Claudia Elena Vergara is a Research Scientist in The Center for Engineering Education Research (CEER). She received her Ph.D. in Plant Biology from Purdue University.
Her scholarly interests include: improvement of STEM teaching and learning processes in higher education, and institutional change strategies to address the problems and solutions of educational reforms considering the situational context of the participants involved in the reforms. She is involved in several research projects focusing on competencies-based curriculum redesign and implementation aimed to integration across curricula; increasing the retention rate of early engineering students; providing opportunities for STEM graduate students to have mentored teaching experiences.

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Theodore Demetrius Caldwell M.Ed. Diversity Programs Office/College of Engineering/Michigan State University

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES

THEODORE D. CALDWELL, DIVERSITY DIRECTOR

Contact Information
Michigan State University Cell: (517) 614-3528
Diversity Programs Office Office: (517) 355-8310
College of Engineering Facsimile: (517) 355-2293
1108 Engineering Building E-mail: tc@egr.msu.edu
East Lansing, MI 48824-1226
http://www.egr.msu.edu/dpo/

(a) Professional Preparation: Undergraduate
Michigan State University Advertising B.A. 1996

Professional Preparation: Graduate
Jones International University Adult Education – Higher Education Leadership and Administration M.Ed. 2011

(b) Appointments
2008-present. Director/Assistant to the Dean for Diversity, Diversity Programs Office, College of Engineering, Michigan State University.
2007-2008. Assistant Director, Diversity Programs Office, College of Engineering, Michigan State University.
2006-2007. Retention and Recruitment Coordinator, Diversity Programs Office, College of Engineering, Michigan State University.
2005. Recruiter, Admissions Office, International Academy of Design and Technology.

(c-1) Five Closely Related Publications (out of >100 refereed publications)
None.

(c-2) Five Other Significant Publications
1. Caldwell, T.D., Foster, K., Lane, T., Caldwell, R.A., Vergara, C.E., and Sticklen, Jon. What Happens After a Summer Bridge Program: The DPO Scholars Program. Accepted for publication in ASEE 2011. Paper 1790.

Five Synergistic Activities
1. Serving as Program Manager for MSU on National Science Foundation NSF 03-520; Michigan Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (MI-LSAMP); under the direction of Mary Sue Coleman, Ralph Kummler, Levi Thompson, Edmond Tsang and Thomas Wolf. This award was effective from September 1, 2005 - September 1, 2010 and has been renewed for Phase 2 of this grant effective September 1, 2010 - September 1, 2015. I am serving in the same capacity in Phase 2.

Collaborators and Other Affiliations
Collaborators and co-authors (last 4 years): Petty, C. (Mich. St. U.); Sticklen, J. (Mich. St. U.); Briedis, D. (Mich. St. U.); Shipman, R. (Mich. St. U.); Wolff, T. (Mich. St. U.); Foster, K. (Mich. St. U.); Thompson, L. (U. of Mich.); Thompkins, G. (Wayne St. Univ.); Tsang, E. (Western Mich. U.); Lane, T. (Mich. St. U.); Caldwell, R. (Mich. St. U.)

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Jon Sticklen Michigan State University

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Jon Sticklen is the Director of the Center for Engineering Education Research at Michigan State University. He also serves MSU as Director of Applied Engineering Sciences, an undergraduate bachelor of science degree program that is highly interdisciplinary focusing on both engineering and business. He also is a faculty member in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. In the decade of the 90s, Dr. Sticklen founded and led a computer science laboratory in knowledge-based systems focused on task specific approaches to problem solving, better known as expert systems. Over the last decade, Dr. Sticklen has pursued engineering education research focused on early engineering with an emphasis on hybrid course design and problem-based learning; his current research is supported by NSF/DUE and NSF/CISE.

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Subashini Nagendran Sivakumar Michigan State University

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Suba Nagendran Sivakumar is a Research Scientist in The Center for Engineering Education Research (CEER). She received her PhD in Plant Pathology from Michigan State University. Her scholarly interests include: research and teaching in Plant Pathology, Molecular Biology and improvement of STEM teaching and learning processes in higher education.

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Kyle P. Foster Michigan State University College of Engineering

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Kyle Foster is the Assistant Director for the Diversity Programs Office in the College of Engineering at Michigan State University. He graduated from Michigan State University in the spring of 1997 with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. Upon graduation from MSU, Kyle accepted a position in the Chrysler Institute of Engineering (C.I.E.) program at Chrysler Corporation. While in the program, he earned an advanced degree in Engineering from the University of Detroit Mercy. After completing 2 years in the C.I.E. program, Kyle spent the next nine years as a product development engineer at Chrysler. Kyle returned home to Michigan State in February 2009. He hopes to continue impacting the lives of future engineers by passing on all that he has learned from MSU and Corporate America.

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Tonisha Brandy Lane Michigan State University

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Tonisha B. Lane, M.A., is a PhD candidate in the Higher, Adult and Lifelong Education (HALE) program, and graduate research assistant for the Neighborhoods at Michigan State University. Her research focuses on underrepresented students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields. She has over eight years of student affairs and higher education experience.

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Rickey Alfred Caldwell Jr.

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Lisa R. Henry Michigan State University

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Abstract

Increasing Retention of Under-represented Minority Students in Engineering: The Diversity Programs Office - Scholars Program (DPO-SP)The College of Engineering at [university] has developed two programs that addressimpediments faced by students from economically disadvantaged areas. Students from lowsocio-economic areas are recruited by DPO to take part in a summer bridge experience thatincludes academic pre-classes and social network building. The capacity of the summer bridgeprogram is 30 students per year. The program includes a rigorous set of math tutorials andfocused work sessions - all done in the social context of a learning community. Most of thesummer bridge students who matriculate to [university] in engineering will flow directly into theDPO Scholars Program (DPO-SP) program. Established in Fall 2009, DPO-SP is an academicyearlong program funded internally by [university]; it incorporates components and activitiesdesigned to provide a structured social and academic support system for academically at risk firstyear students. The structure of the program represents a successful model to retainingundergraduate engineering and more generally STEM students. Two critical factors differentiatethe SP from a number of previously implemented initiatives: • Each cohort is offered a two-year program. This allows the DPO to provide a solid support structure for each participant during the two most critical years of a college student’s experience. • All components of the program are mandatory: A student cannot opt out of one component and still participate.Students who successfully complete the first year of the program are awarded a $1000scholarship and placement in a summer residential research assistant position. This researchassistant appointment provides a $1,100-$3,500 stipend, as well as an opportunity for students toconnect with faculty much faster than if they waited until their junior year or upon acceptanceinto their college. Connection with faculty is another critical piece of a retention initiative.During the second year, the students would continue with all program initiatives, but they wouldalso serve as peer mentors for the cohort that will begin SP that same fall semester.Retention findings are summarized in table 1. A pre and post administration of the [university]math placement test showed an impressive boost in the placement of students who were initiallyplaced in the zero-credit mathematics course: • For Cohort ’12, (17 students), 88% scored higher on the Math Placement Exam. • For Cohort ’13, (41 students), of the MTH 1825 starters, 79% moved up at least one math class, of the MTH 103 starters, 100% moved up at least one math class, of the MTH 116 starters, 42% moved up to MTH 132, of the total cohort, 94% increased their score on the Math Placement Exam, 70% moved up at least one math class; the average score increase was 44%.Table 1. DPO-SP Retention in Engineering and other STEM disciplines Cohort Retained in Retained in Retained at 1 ENGR (%) STEM (%) University (%)2009 (through 6th semester) 61 70 78n=232010 (through 4th semester) 61 72 77n=182011 (through 2th semester) 56 67 78n=18In this paper we will describe the structure of the program and discuss our findings including theprogram evaluation results focusing on two main aspects, academic and social. We will presentthe short and long-term impacts that the program and its components have on participants, anddiscuss our efforts to extend the program to include other academic units within the [university]. 2

Vergara, C. E., & Caldwell, T. D., & Sticklen, J., & Sivakumar, S. N., & Foster, K. P., & Lane, T. B., & Caldwell, R. A., & Henry, L. R. (2014, June), Increasing Retention of Underrepresented Minority Students in Engineering: The Diversity Programs Office - Scholars Program (DPO-SP) Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. https://peer.asee.org/20629

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