Virtually Hosted by the section
November 12, 2021
November 12, 2021
November 13, 2021
The Smart City Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) and Research Experience for Teachers (RET) (SCR2) Mega-Site program, which is supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) (#1849454), was formed in 2018 to address the low participation and graduation rates of post-secondary students belonging to underrepresented minority groups in the engineering field. The participating schools in the program are all minority serving and members of a consortium consisting of 14 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and 1 Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), where Morgan State University (MSU) serves as the lead institution. The program targets lower division underperforming REU students who are less likely to have the opportunity to participate in research as undergraduates. Participation in this type of experience has been demonstrated to be transformative and to have the potential to increase retention and graduation rates at these institutions. RET participants are recruited from local community colleges and high schools that serve as feeder schools to the consortium institutions. These teachers are responsible for preparing students who could potentially be interesting in pursuing a college major in engineering by exposing them to hands-on engineering design practices. Over the last two years of the program’s existence, 61 students and 24 teachers have successfully participated. As with most 2020 summer programs, the SCR2 program was challenged by the novel corona virus (COVID-19) pandemic, which hit the United states during the recruitment period of the project. Consequently, the project leadership team decided to offer the summer program remotely (on-line) rather than bring students to the participating three campuses across which the program is distributed. The planning and execution of the program during a global pandemic has brought key insights into techniques, methods, and technologies for effective cross-site communication, faculty advisor/mentor involvement, participant engagement, and leveraging the strong network that connects the participating schools. Essentially, a multi-site remote only combined REU/RET program is efficacious in increasing participant’s confidence, knowledge and desire to pursue further engineering research experiences. This paper presents these insights along with supporting program evaluation findings.
Nyarko, K., & Albin, S., & Attia, J. O. (2021, November), Lessons Learned in Adopting a Multi-Site Combined REU/RET Program for Exclusive Remote Participation Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic Paper presented at 2021 Fall ASEE Middle Atlantic Section Meeting, Virtually Hosted by the section. https://strategy.asee.org/38441
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