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Increasing STEM Transfer Among Underrepresented Groups: What Matters for Community College Students

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Conference

2018 CoNECD - The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference

Location

Crystal City, Virginia

Publication Date

April 29, 2018

Start Date

April 29, 2018

End Date

May 2, 2018

Conference Session

Undergraduate Track - Technical Session VII

Tagged Topic

Undergraduate Education

Page Count

17

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/29546

Download Count

32

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Paper Authors

biography

James Burton Dorsey University of Washington

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James Dorsey is the executive director of Washington State MESA, a program that prepares and encourages underrepresented groups (K16) to pursue science, engineering and technology careers. Dorsey's professional background includes 25 years with both Washington and California MESA, advancing K-20 STEM education equity on statewide and national levels.

Before his tenure with Washington MESA, Dorsey was national director of program development for California MESA, where he fostered new and enhanced partnerships with Hewlett Packard, AT&T, Google, Amazon, and other companies, and helped triple the number of MESA's community college transfer centers in California as well as replicated the community college model nationally.

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Abstract

Despite the large shortfall in racial and ethnic diversity in STEM higher education and employment, few studies have spotlighted community college programs aimed to address the current equity gap, particularly with programs aimed specifically at supporting diverse community college students who are pursuing STEM education. This study investigates the experiences and outcomes of students with STEM transfer intent attending eight community colleges in two states. The study examines student experiences and outcomes via student focus groups and initial statistical data analysis. Students who enrolled in a structured support program aimed at underrepresented students in STEM accumulated more college level credits, more STEM credits, and graduated with a transfer degree at higher rates compared with community college students who also showed transfer intent in a STEM field but did not have access to such a program. This is despite their inclusion in a group meant for underrepresented students who have often faced many barriers to success. Students in focus groups attributed program success to the positive and affirming community provided by the program with specific foci on addressing the needs of underserved students, providing academic support, career and professional development activities with diverse mentors, and targeted academic advising.

Dorsey, J. B. (2018, April), Increasing STEM Transfer Among Underrepresented Groups: What Matters for Community College Students Paper presented at 2018 CoNECD - The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Virginia. https://peer.asee.org/29546

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