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Progress Of The Excel Program At The University Of Central Florida: An Nsf Step Funded Project

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Conference

2009 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Mathematics: Recruitment and Retention

Tagged Division

Mathematics

Page Count

35

Page Numbers

14.985.1 - 14.985.35

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/4975

Download Count

137

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Paper Authors

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Michael Georgiopoulos University of Central Florida

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Michael Georgiopoulos has received a Diploma in EE from the National Technical University of Athens, Greece, in 1981,and an MS in EE and a Ph.D.in EE from the University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, in 1983 and 1986, respectively. He joined the University of Central Florida
in1986,where he is currently a Professor in the
School of EECS. His research interests lie in the areas of Machine Learning and applications with special em-phasis on ART neural networks. He has published his work in over 250
journal and conference venues. He has been an Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks from 2002 to 2006 and he is
currently serving as an Associate Editor of the Neural Networks journal. He has served as the General Chair of the S+SSPR 2008 Workshops, a satellite event of ICPR 2008.

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Cynthia Young University of Central Florida

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Cynthia Young received her B.A. in Mathematics Education from the University of North Carolina, and her M.S. in Electrical Engineering and Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from the University of Washington. She is currently a Professor of Mathematics at the University of Central Florida. She is the recipient of an Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award and is a Fellow of the International Society of Optical Engineers. She is a two-time recipient of the Teaching Incentive Program at UCF and the recipient of the UCF Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award.

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Cherie Geiger University of Central Florida

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Cherie Geiger received her Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from the University of South Florida in Tampa in 1994. She joined the Chemistry faculty at the University of Central Florida in 1996 and is currently an Associate Professor of Chemistry. Her research interests include developing novel environmental remediation techniques and new materials development for a variety of uses. Her research has won numerous awards, both national and international, including the prestigious induction into the Space Technology Hall of Fame in 2007. She has published over 45 journal articles and reviewed proceedings and presented at over 100 conferences and institutions. She served as the President of the Florida Academy of Sciences for three years and as Associate Chair of the Chemistry Department at UCF for over three years.

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Scott Hagen University of Central Florida

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Chris Parkinson University of Central Florida

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Alison Morrison-Shetlar University of Central Florida

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Tace Crouse University of Central Florida

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Tace Crouse is currently the Interim Director of the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning at the University of Central Florida where she has served since 2004. From 1999-2004 she was on the faculty of the university's College of Education. From 1986-1998 she served in various positions at Brevard Community College including faculty member, department chair, dean, campus provost and Executive Vice President. Her B.S. degree in Mathematics (1972) and her M.S. in Mathematics Education (1974) were earned at the Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania. Her Ed.D. is in Educational Leadership (1993) from the University of Central Florida. Her research area is in the use of assessment to improve instruction.

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Paula Krist University of Central Florida

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Paula S. Krist is the Director of Assessment Support for the School of Leadership and
Education Sciences at the University of San Diego. She works with all departments to support
program and student learning outcomes assessment for faculty and staff. Previously the Director
of Operational Excellence and Assessment Support at the University of Central Florida and the
Director of Institutional Research and Assessment at Florida Institute of Technology, Dr. Krist regularly presents workshops on assessment topics and enjoys working with faculty on grant projects. Her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology is from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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Pat Lancey University of Central Florida

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Melissa Dagley-Falls University of Central Florida

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Melissa Dagley-Falls received a BSBA in Management and a MBA from East Tennessee State University of Johnson City, TN, in 1991 and 1993, respectively. She joined the University of Central Florida in 2001 where she worked until 2003 for the Office of Transfer Services. In 2003, Melissa joined the College of Engineering and Computer Science where she has served as the Director of Academic Affairs and advisor to both undergraduate and graduate students within the college. Ms. Dagley-Falls research interests lie in the areas of student access to education, sense of community, retention, and persistence to graduation for students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics programs.

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Pat Ramsey University of Central Florida

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Pat Ramsey joined the IR staff at UCF as a Coordinator of Statistical Research in October, 1999. She started with UCF as the Senior Statistician for the College of Health and Public Affairs in October, 1995. Prior to her employment at the University of Central Florida, Pat worked in market research, where she generated, analyzed, and graphically displayed statistical data relating to the retail market. Pat was promoted to Assistant Director of IR at UCF in January, 2005.

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Dahlia Forde University of Central Florida

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Dahlia Forde received a B.A. in Psychology from the University of South Florida in 2000 and an M.S. in Industrial and Organizational (I/O) Psychology from the University of Central Florida (UCF) in 2003. Her research interests include test fairness, computer adaptive testing, selection and retention. She has received an award for best research paper from the American Psychological Association. Ms. Forde has also served as a consultant for the Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ. She is currently a doctoral candidate in I/O Psychology at UCF and a research assistant at the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning.

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Anna Koufakou University of Central Florida

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Anna Koufakou completed her B.Sc. in Computer Informatics at the Athens University of Economics and Business in Athens, Greece,
in 1997, and her M.Sc. in Computer Engineering at the University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida, in 2000. She worked as a Software
Engineer at LaserSight Technologies, Winter Park, Florida, until 2003. Anna has been a Computer Engineering Ph.D. Candidate at the School of EECS at UCF since 2004. She has been involved in several Machine Learning & Data Mining projects, such as mining of Law
Enforcement Data (http://finder.ucf.edu). She has also mentored several undergraduate students for NSF-funded research projects. Her main research interests include Large-scale Data Mining, Parallel and Distributed Data Mining, Frequent Itemset Mining, Outlier Detection, Machine Learning, and Knowledge Extraction.

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

Progress of the EXCEL Program at the University of Central Florida: An NSF STEP Funded Project

Abstract

The National Science Foundation is currently funding a STEP project at the University of - The NSF STEP program seeks to increase the number of students (U.S. citizens or permanent residents) receiving associate or baccalaureate degrees in established or emerging fields within science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The STEP project at UCF, called the EXCEL Program, is a 5-year program funded in 2006. The specific goal of the EXCEL program , thereby increasing the number of students graduating with a STEM degree from the institution. In this process an increase in the percentages of under-represented groups (women and minorities) graduating with STEM degrees is expected, since UCF has high percentages of underrepresented minorities in STEM disciplines (more than 25% of STEM admits at UCF are Hispanics or African Americans). T oal, two important objectives are identified: (a) recruit students in EXCEL, and (b) retain the EXCEL students in STEM disciplines. The result of this effort will be an institutionalized program that can be completion, and disseminated at other educational institutions. infrastructure, the activities pursued to achieve its objectives, the results from these activities,

1. Introduction

In the book Talking About Leaving, Why Undergraduates Leave the Sciences (see [1]) it is stated that nationally 40 percent of undergraduate students leave engineering programs, 50 percent leave the physical and biological sciences and 60 percent leave mathematics. The losses are disproportionately greater among women and students of color (also seen with the UCF numbers). The following is a list of some reasons that undergraduates who had left the sciences or engineering (referred to as STEM attrition) have provided: (1) Discouraged/loss of confidence due to low grades in early years, (2) Morale undermined by competitive STEM culture, (3) Curriculum overload, fast pace overwhelming, (4) Poor teaching by STEM faculty, (5) Inadequate advising or help with academic programs, and (6) Loss of interest in STEM, i.e.,

UCF participated in the University of Oklahoma six year (1995-2001) STEM Retention survey supported by NSF grant #REC9903426. This survey found that 31% of declared STEM majors dropped in the first year, 16% in the second year, 12% in the third year and 41% graduated in STEM. Thus the attrition in STEM disciplines occurs primarily in the first two years. This study had higher retention rates in STEM fields.

UCF is a growing metropolitan university in Orlando, FL and the 5th largest university in the nation, serving a student population with high percentages of STEM underrepresented groups. Of

Georgiopoulos, M., & Young, C., & Geiger, C., & Hagen, S., & Parkinson, C., & Morrison-Shetlar, A., & Crouse, T., & Krist, P., & Lancey, P., & Dagley-Falls, M., & Ramsey, P., & Forde, D., & Koufakou, A. (2009, June), Progress Of The Excel Program At The University Of Central Florida: An Nsf Step Funded Project Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/4975

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