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Promising Practices for the Expansion and Sustainability of Summer Bridge Programs for Underrepresented Engineering Students at Pennsylvania State University

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Conference

2018 CoNECD - The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference

Location

Crystal City, Virginia

Publication Date

April 29, 2018

Start Date

April 29, 2018

End Date

May 2, 2018

Conference Session

Race/Ethnicity Track - Technical Session VI

Tagged Topic

Race/Ethnicity

Page Count

18

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/29565

Download Count

16

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Paper Authors

biography

Catherine Cohan Pennsylvania State University

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Catherine Cohan holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and has been a research psychologist for over 20 years. Her areas of expertise include engineering education, retention of underrepresented students, measurement, and assessment. She is currently the Research Associate on the Sustainable Bridges NSF IUSE project (Amy Freeman, PI). Previously, she was the project coordinator the the Toys'n MORE NSF STEP project (Renata Engel, PI).

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Abstract

There are well-documented calls for increasing the numbers of students who graduate with a baccalaureate STEM degree, especially underrepresented students. The Center for Engineering Outreach and Inclusion at Penn State is comprised of five units focused on increasing the likelihood of graduating with a baccalaureate degree in Engineering among racially underrepresented students, women, and first-generation college students across all 19 Penn State undergraduate campuses. This presentation highlights one of the units. The Sustainable Bridges from Campus to Campus project is a NSF-sponsored IUSE study focused on retaining racially underrepresented students in Engineering, especially those who start at a regional campus. Penn State is comprised of the flagship University Park campus and 18 regional undergraduate campuses. About 60% of Penn State students opt for the “2+2 plan” by completing the first two years of their education at a regional campus and then transitioning to the University Park campus for the last two years. One reason to focus on regional campus students is because half of the racially underrepresented students in Engineering begin their Penn State career at a regional campus. This presentation focuses on promising practices to expand and sustain summer bridge academic enhancement programs beyond the traditional model of a residential program at a Research I university. This presentation will include four topics including (a) different models for summer bridge programs, (b) how the Sustainable Bridges project launched summer bridge programs for Engineering students at small regional campuses that did not have a history of such programs, (c) strategies for sustaining these programs beyond the funding from NSF, and (d) how the institutional structure of the Center for Engineering Outreach and Inclusion creates a synergy among the staff and the programs that enhances our ability to retain and graduate underrepresented students in Engineering.

Cohan, C. (2018, April), Promising Practices for the Expansion and Sustainability of Summer Bridge Programs for Underrepresented Engineering Students at Pennsylvania State University Paper presented at 2018 CoNECD - The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Virginia. https://peer.asee.org/29565

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