Asee peer logo

NSF STEP Award: The College of Engineering at the University of Nebraska

Download Paper |


2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1111.1 - 22.1111.32



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


David Jones University of Nebraska, Lincoln

visit author page

Dr. David Jones earned a B.S. and M.S. from Texas A&M University and a Ph.D. from Oklahoma State University. He joined the Biological Systems Engineering Department at UNL in 1989 where he holds the rank of Professor. He also holds a courtesy appointment in the Department of Food Science and Technology. He has been working in the fields of modeling, process analysis, and risk assessment. He has made contributions in the areas of processing alternative crops, thermochemical conversions, modeling heat and mass transfer within complex systems, and developing models for risk based decision making. In addition, Jones developed methods to use fuzzy set theory and soft computing techniques to capture information about complex systems. The educational aspects and the students of the BSE department have been a focus for Dr. Jones. He was instrumental in developing the BSE curriculum. Dr. Jones is a leader in presenting the department to recruits, the public, and the university at large. He has developed a number of courses at all levels of the curriculum. His most lasting contribution has been the development of a junior level course in heat and mass transport that incorporates particular considerations for biological systems. Further, he has developed and maintained a productive senior capstone design course that provides hands-on engineering training to graduating seniors. He serves as the academic advisor for incoming freshman and transfer students and has served as faculty advisor for a number of student organizations. He is active professionally and recently served as the national secretary for the Institute of Biological Engineering (IBE), a member of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) and serves many roles for the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineering (ASABE). He has published over 100 papers and book chapters and supervised and advised numerous graduate students.

visit author page


Carmen R. Zafft University of Nebraska, Lincoln

visit author page

Carmen R. Zafft is a Ph.D. student in Human Sciences with a specialization in Leadership Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She obtained a Master of Science in Leadership Education for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2007 and a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1999. She has also served in various management and program development roles for non-profit and educational agencies in the Mid-Atlantic Region and Mid-West.

visit author page


John Sutton RMC Research Corporation

visit author page

Dr. John Sutton serves as Senior Research Associate at RMC Research Corporation. Dr. Sutton, former Vice President of the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics and member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Research Committee, serves as a senior staff member of the Center on Instruction in Mathematics and leads the mathematics development team for the Doing What Works project for the U.S. Department of Education. He serves as Co-PI for the NSF funded DRK-12 project, Examining Mathematics Coaching project (0918326), as well as the Project Director for the Idaho and Nebraska Statewide MSP Evaluations and the evaluation for the NSF-funded MSPs “Math in the Middle,” “NebraskaMATH,” and “Students Transitioning into Engineering programs” at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln.

visit author page


Lance C. Pérez University of Nebraska, Lincoln

visit author page

Lance C. Pérez has been a faculty member in the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln (UNL) since August 1996. He currently also holds the position of Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at UNL. From August 2008 to August 2010 he was a Program Director in the Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE) at the National Science Foundation (NSF) where he worked on the Federal Cyber Service: Scholarship for Service (SFS) program, the Course, Curriculum and Laboratory Improvement (CCLI) program, the Advanced Technology Education (ATE) program and the Math and Science Partnership (MSP) program. His research interests are in the areas of error control coding, wireless communications, sensor networks and engineering education. He received his B.S. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Virginia and the MS and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Notre Dame.

visit author page

Download Paper |


NSF STEP Award: The College of Engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln The University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s (UNL) College of Engineering (COE), inpartnership with Nebraska’s six community colleges, is endeavoring to increase thenumber and success of community college (CC) transfer students in engineering. Thiseffort is leveraged through the National Science Foundation Strengthening Transitionsinto Engineering Program (STEP). The core objective of this project is accomplished bybuilding an effective and recognizable pathway which includes the coordination ofselected courses at each CC and academic, social and professional support for transferstudents. The project has two primary components: (1) development and implementationof four introductory engineering courses taught at the CCs and will transfer to the COE,and (2) establishing a set of student supports that facilitate mentoring, communitybuilding, and retention at the COE. To date, 118 students have benefitted from STEP along with 172 students(multiple enrollments) who have taken at least one of the four STEP courses at the CC.Furthermore, as of the 2010 fall semester, a total of 65 engineering transfer studentscompleted the engineering transfer seminar which was designed as a way to establish theaforementioned student supports. Key findings include students’: (1) above averageinterest in pursuing specific engineering goals, (2) above average feelings of support andability to overcome barriers to pursuing an engineering degree, (3) above average levelsof self-efficacy and outcome expectancy for pursuing engineering careers and completingengineering goals, (4) display of high to moderate levels of confidence for completingtypical engineering problems, and (5) the COE recording slight increases in the numberof transfer, female, and minority students from 2008 – 2009. A significant challenge has been the matriculation of students from the CC to theCOE. To date, less than 25% of CC students who have participated in the STEP pathwayhave transferred to the UNL COE. We are assessing this challenge and the factors thatdirectly and indirectly impact the successful transfer of students to the COE.

Jones, D., & Zafft, C. R., & Sutton, J., & Pérez, L. C. (2011, June), NSF STEP Award: The College of Engineering at the University of Nebraska Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18989

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2011 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015