July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
NSF Grantees Poster Session
Our NSF S-STEM funded program has helped students with high financial need graduate with degrees in STEM fields by focusing on reducing the hours students needed for employment outside of school through scholarship support. Within this set of students, some were highly self-motivated, and the support from the scholarships allowed them to raise their grade point averages and, in some cases graduate sooner. For other students, engagement in the form of "intrusive advising" was particularly effective to help them achieve success. During the grant period, loss of grant staff led to a reevaluation of the program structure, leading to the incorporation of a graduate student as cohort facilitator and interface. Simultaneously, it was found that cohort students were extensively involved in multiple on-campus activities, including professional societies, limiting their ability and interest to take on additional program-specific activities and responsibilities.
While this program has been effective, it has identified key questions for future projects: 1. Within the constraints of the NSF S-STEM program, what is the appropriate balance of near-peer, graduate student, staff, and faculty advisors? 2. Is it reasonable for a NSF S-STEM program to operate independently of existing host University academic staffing and structures? 3. Given a desire for intra-cohort activities, are low cohort numbers spread across multiple disciplines problematic given the multiple external commitments expected of driven students? 4. If a S-STEM program is focused on a specific discipline, is it critical to have previously identified specific external funding entities to sustain the program's existence beyond the grant period?
While our NSF S-STEM program has succeeded in assisting STEM students with high financial need to graduate and obtain STEM employment; several questions have arisen for future efforts, and additional long-term support has not been forthcoming from within or without the investigator’s university. In particular, identifying stable staffing and coordination structures, some perhaps already present within our institution, and external funding avenues for long-term support are key challenges for future opportunities to sustain this valuable program.
Roll, M. F., & Johnson, B. K., & Maughan, M. R., & Lowry, M., & Davis, M. A., & Hill, C. J. (2021, July), Reflections on Realizing the Promise of the NSF S-STEM Program Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37652
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