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Motivated Engineering Transfers – Stem Talent Expansion Program (Metstep)

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Retention Strategies in Action Part I

Tagged Division

Two Year College Division

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.885.1 - 15.885.13



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Paper Authors

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Mary Anderson-Rowland Arizona State University

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Armando Rodriguez Arizona State University


Anita Grierson Arizona State University

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ANITA E. GRIERSON is the Director of the METS Center in the Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering at ASU. Ms. Grierson has over 10 years corporate experience in Program Management, Business Development, and Biomechanical Engineering, with products as diverse as air bag systems for helicopters, body armor, and orthopedic implants. She received her Bachelors Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan in 1990, her Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering from Northwestern University in 1994, and a Masters in Business Administration from Arizona State University in 2000.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Motivated Engineering Transfers – STEM Talent Expansion Program (METSTEP)


The Motivated Engineering Transfers – STEM Talent Expansion Program (METSTEP) is a partnership between Arizona State University’s (ASU’s) Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering (lead institution) and non-metropolitan Arizona Community Colleges (CCs) designed to significantly increase the number of CC transfer students (especially women and underrepresented minority students) that graduate with engineering and computer science – hereafter referred to as engineering – BS/E and graduate degrees. The targeted students are enrolled in pre-calculus/calculus, engineering, biology, chemistry, physics, and geology courses at Arizona’s CCs and their local high school (HSs). The partner CCs (Arizona Western, Central Arizona, Cochise, Eastern Arizona, and Mohave) have been selected because (1) they possess a significant pool of untapped engineering talent (a high percentage of women and underrepresented minorities) and (2) they have enthusiastically embraced the vision to reach out to students to attract them to exciting engineering careers. This project develops a supply-chain of high quality engineering students by 1) supporting the CCs’ HS student outreach activities, 2) supporting the CC engineering courses by providing materials, tutoring, local engineering speakers, and tuition scholarships, 3) conducting “Be an Engineer” events on the CC campuses to CC students and local HS students and their parents, 4) following up with classes/workshops/seminars - exploiting time-tested techniques, assignments, as well as one-on- one and group mentoring - for all participants either via live teleconference or webcast, 5) providing an engaged community of mentors (with extensive experience and commitment) for all students, as well as remote tutoring and mentoring via phone, email, or Blackboard, 6) hosting an Orientation at ASU specifically for engineering transfer students, 7) managing a Fulton Transfer Center where engineering transfer students and their CC cohorts can study together and get the support needed to survive, and 8) working with (especially new) transfer students for success and learning through a (time-tested) “career shaping” academic scholarship workshop program. This project is funded through a grant from NSF’s STEP Program (#0856834).

I. Introduction

Computer science, engineering, and mathematics (CSEM) are essential to the continued scientific advancement and technological development of the United States. Recent government studies have concluded that the future economic well being of our nation will be largely dependent on the training of students in these disciplines [1]-[5]. S&E occupations are projected to grow by 26% from 2004 to 2014, while employment in all occupations is projected to grow 13% over the same period [6]. In spite of this, there is an alarming lack of mathematical and scientific achievement by American students at all educational levels, particularly among students from minority groups [5]. As a nation, it is clear that we must increase our efforts to attract and retain students in these critical subjects. If we fail to do this, we place the economic health of the United States at risk [1]-[5]. The problems of recruiting and retaining students in

Anderson-Rowland, M., & Rodriguez, A., & Grierson, A. (2010, June), Motivated Engineering Transfers – Stem Talent Expansion Program (Metstep) Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16069

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