New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
Diversity and NSF Grantees Poster Session
A National Science Foundation (NSF) S-STEM (Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Program) scholarship program entitled, “PEEPS” - Program for Engineering Excellence for Partner Schools is a holistic, institutional approach towards recruiting, retaining, and graduating engineering students from disadvantaged backgrounds. The Partner Schools are those that have been identified to have large percentages of students who qualify for the National School Lunch Program. Data suggests that these students are not only more likely to have low socioeconomic status, but also be first generation college students and/or underrepresented minorities (URM). Adopting a cohort or “posse” model, the PEEPS cohorts form learning-communities to support one another and create a sense of belonging at our university.
The PEEPS program is designed to remove obstacles and to integrate several proven student success strategies in order to help PEEPS students develop and achieve their personal academic and professional goals. Partnerships with Admissions, Financial Aid, and the Multicultural Engineering Program have been developed expressly for this project. The PEEPS program components not only include financial support, but also include several interventions and social activities. These components are designed to help strengthen student identities as an engineer and to increase self-efficacy.
Data reveals that the PEEPS scholarship program has been an effective recruiting tool. By targeting the Partner Schools and First Generation engineering students, the scholarship program is aiding and supporting more diverse students with high financial need. Retention analysis is ongoing through periodic check-ins, interviews and focus groups. Many of the PEEPS components are also being developed to reach a greater number of students beyond the scholarship recipients, such as the Engineering Student Success course and cohort scheduling of gateway engineering courses.
Assessment by interviews and a focus group of the PEEPS has revealed that the cohort scheduling of courses together has helped the students form a community and has assisted with studying for courses. PEEPS also integrates periodic reflections that aid in student development, and provide ample academic and personal support. Some preliminary quantitative comparisons are made between the PEEPS and other students in the Engineering Student Success course, but the numbers of students and time elapsed are small.
Chen, K. C., & Schlemer, L. T., & Lehr, J. L., & Liptow, E. E., & Duerr, J., & Finger, H., & Cabanez, J. B. (2016, June), PEEPS: Cultivating a Cohort of Supportive Engineering Students and Building a Support Team for Institutional Change Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.25865
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