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S-STEM: An Educational Model for Retention at an Urban Institution

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Social Dialogue on Diversity and Inclusion

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

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Paper Authors


Urmi Ghosh-Dastidar New York City College of Technology and the City University of New York

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Professor Ghosh-Dastidar joined the Math Department at City Tech in 2003. She received her baccalaureate degree in mathematics from The Ohio State University and her MS and PhD in Applied Mathematics jointly from New Jersey Institute of Technology and Rutgers University. Her research interests include optimization, epidemiology, graph theory, and biodiversity. She was invited as a visiting research faculty by the Center for Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science (DIMACS) at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey for 2011-2012, and 2016-2017. She was a short term visitor at the National Institute of Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS) at University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 2011 and was also invited to participate in NIMBioS Investigative Workshop on algebraic mathematical biology in 2016. Prof. Ghosh-Dastidar has numerous publications in peer-reviewed journals to her credit and is the recipient of several grants including multiple MAA NREUP grants (2011-2016), a Living Lab Gen Ed Seminar fellowship (2012-2013), a SENCER leadership fellowship, The National Society of Collegiate Scholars Distinguished Member Award (2014), and many other NSF and PSC-CUNY grants/awards. She is currently working on writing a book chapter for Algebraic and Combinatorial Computational Biology, an Elseiver publication. Additionally, Prof. Ghosh-Dastidar has extensive experience mentoring more than thirty students through different programs such as the NYC-AMP program, City Tech's Emerging Scholar Program, and MAA NREUP grants.

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Diana Samaroo New York City College of Technology and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York

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Diana Samaroo is an Associate Professor and Chair of Chemistry Department at NYC College of Technology, CUNY. Her pedagogical research is the area of peer led team learning in Chemistry and integrating STEM into curricula. With a background in biochemistry, her research interests are in the area of drug discovery, therapeutics and nanomaterials.

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Armando Dominguez Solis


Sandie Han New York City College of Technology

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Sandie Han is a Professor of Mathematics at New York City College of Technology. She has extensive experience in program design and administration, including administrative responsibilities as the chair of the math department, Computer Science program coordinator, high school program coordinator, as well as PI on the U.S. Department of Education MSEIP grant and Co-PI on the NSF-S-STEM grants. She has several publications on the theory and practice of Self-Regulated Learning, Mathematics Self-Efficacy, PLTL. Her work in Self-Regulated Learning and self-efficacy has won the 2013 CUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Math Instructions.

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This paper analyzes results of the NSF S-STEM Advancing Student Futures in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics grant (grant# 1458714), awarded in 2015 to the New York City College of Technology, CUNY (informally known as ‘City Tech). City Tech is a minority and Hispanic serving institution ranked third in the nation by NSF in the number of associate-level STEM degrees awarded to Black students, 23rd in degrees awarded to male students, and 48th in degrees awarded to women. During the past two years (fall 2015 - spring 2017) we have provided ninety-five scholarships; more than what we originally proposed in the grant (forty per year). The grant program provides comprehensive support structures at critical junctures including: financial assistance; mandatory academic advisement per semester and end-of-the-semester guidance meetings; exposure to undergraduate research opportunities in various STEM fields campus wide, within, and outside CUNY; personal one-to-one need-based communication; and STEM field trips, seminars, and peer-led workshops. Through these interventions, we observe significant improvement in student retention and an increase in undergraduate research activities. Additionally, we have been able to maintain a continuous cohort, and have seen a significant uptick in internal transfer of students from associate degree to baccalaureate degree programs. By encouraging our current and former scholars to engage in the wider professional and academic community (by opening and maintaining LinkedIn accounts, for instance) and through their participation in various research activities, we also observe student growth in establishing their professional STEM identity. We are currently analyzing student surveys administered to assess the effectiveness and improvement of this grant program. Moreover, we are investigating whether students who received the scholarships exhibit greater success (as measured by STEM GPA and other metrics) compared to their high achieving peers who were not supported by this program.

Ghosh-Dastidar, U., & Samaroo, D., & Solis, A. D., & Han, S. (2018, June), S-STEM: An Educational Model for Retention at an Urban Institution Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30946

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