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Lessons Learned from a Summer Bridge Research Partnership Between a Community College and a University

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Conference

2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Community Engagement Division Technical Session 4

Tagged Division

Community Engagement Division

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

21

DOI

10.18260/1-2--34909

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/34909

Download Count

89

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Paper Authors

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Peter Golding University of Texas at El Paso

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Professor in the Department of Engineering and Leadership at UTEP.

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Helen Elizabeth Geller University of Texas at El Paso and El Paso Community College

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Helen Geller is the Program Manager for the STEMGROW grant, funded by the Department of Education at the University of Texas at El Paso. Helen is also a biology instructor at El Paso Community College.

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Diane Elisa Golding University of Texas at El Paso

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Diane is a passionate educator and proponent for K-12 engineering education and the education of future teachers.She is an assistant professor at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). Diane serves as the director for the UTEP YES! She Can program that support minorities and minorities within minorities in personal and STEM self-efficacy. She earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees from UTEP and holds a doctorate from the Rossier School of Education, University of Southern California.

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Ana Karen Jimenez Enciso University of Texas at El Paso

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Kwame Opuni University of Houston-Downtown (Retired)

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Anand Raj University of Texas at El Paso Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-5864-7152

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Anand Raj is a Doctoral student in the Environmental Science and Engineering Program at The University of Texas at El Paso. His doctoral studies focus on sustainability in higher education, environmental policy, and business acumen.

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Mike Thomas Pitcher University of Texas at El Paso

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Mike Pitcher is the Director of Academic Technologies at the University of Texas at El Paso. He has had experience in learning in both a traditional university program as well as the new online learning model, which he utilizes in his current position consulting with faculty about the design of new learning experiences. His experience in technology and teaching started in 1993 as a student lab technician and has continued to expand and grow over the years, both technically as well as pedagogically. Currently he works in one of the most technically outstanding buildings in the region where he provides support to students, faculty, and staff in implementing technology inside and outside the classroom, researching new engineering education strategies as well as the technologies to support the 21st century classroom (online and face to face). He also has assisted both the campus as well as the local community in developing technology programs that highlight student skills development in ways that engage and attract individuals towards STEAM and STEM fields by showcasing how those skills impact the current project in real-world ways that people can understand and be involved in. As part of a university that is focused on supporting the 21st century student demographic he continues to innovate and research on how we can design new methods of learning to educate both our students and communities on how STEM and STEAM make up a large part of that vision and our future.

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Carla Ann Judith Navar University of Texas at El Paso

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Paul E. Hotchkin El Paso Community College

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Paul Hotchkin is an Associate Professor of Biology at El Paso Community College, Valle Verde Campus. He teaching majors and non-majors biology, as well as environmental science. Paul has served as the biologist for the STEMGROW program at EPCC since 2016; in this capacity, he recruits community college students interested in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology for the summer research bridge program, coordinates field trips to local nature preserves, makes professional development lessons, and helps students to build their science projects.

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Abstract

As part of a partnership between a local community college and university, we have established a summer bridge program that has been proceeding since summer 2017. During the last three years, it has developed and evolved becoming larger and increasingly successful; even more so than originally planned. Targeted students for our summer bridge program include students from diverse backgrounds; including minorities, females and economically disadvantaged individuals.

For the past three summers, community college students have spent forty-hours a week across two summer months conducting both field and laboratory research at the university with a focus on environmental sciences and engineering. Paired with graduate students and professors, the freshman-level interns have practiced graduate-level research including on-site at several local wetlands. Various projects have been undertaken, ranging from ecological studies on topics including potentially harmful vectors like mosquitoes and ecologically critical and valuable pollinators like bees, vertebrate presence, and habitat selection, and environmental water quality and its impact on both aquatic invertebrate and plant community dynamics. Through our summer bridge program, we have created a pyramid-like synergistic effect, whereby our initial group of community college interns has advanced to being senior mentors to high school students and the cohorts of freshman-level community college students.

Each year our students advance to the next experience level of mentorship, impacting and sharing their learning with inducted mentees in the various levels of the community of learners. This has created a spider-web effect, which has now impacted hundreds of early college high school students, community college students and both undergraduate and graduate students at the university level. All the while, the local community has been impacted positively through presentations and sharing of the education and awareness of wetlands being cataloged and reported.

Interactions between our students, parks and wildlife personnel, our local zoological society members and other community volunteers, have led to increased awareness of the importance of wetlands to our environment and health. The opportunities awarded to our minority students have additionally made an impact in our community, holistically advancing their education and career goals.

Golding, P., & Geller, H. E., & Golding, D. E., & Jimenez Enciso, A. K., & Opuni, K., & Raj, A., & Pitcher, M. T., & Navar, C. A. J., & Hotchkin, P. E. (2020, June), Lessons Learned from a Summer Bridge Research Partnership Between a Community College and a University Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34909

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