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S Stem: Eng^2 Scholars For Success Engineering Engagement

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Developing Young MINDS in Engineering - Part I

Tagged Division

Minorities in Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.1049.1 - 15.1049.31



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Paper Authors


Sarah Jones Louisiana State University

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Sarah Cooley Jones is the College Programs Coordinator for the Office for Diversity Programs, College of Engineering at Louisiana State University. Ms. Jones develops and manages programs for underrepresented undergraduate and graduate engineering students. These programs include scholarships, seminar series and activities that develop the student academically and professionally. She joined LSU in 1992 as a College of Engineering research associate in the area of environmental analyses and worked on numerous projects including utilization of industrial by-products, water quality analyses and wastewater treatment. Ms. Jones has also worked on the LSU NSF STEM Talent Expansion Program team (2007-2009) as a coordinator developing programs aimed at increasing retention of engineering students.

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Kelly Rusch Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge


Warren Waggenspack Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge

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Warren N. Waggenspack, Jr. is currently the Associate Dean for Academic Programs in the College of Engineering and holder of the Ned Adler Professorship in Mechanical Engineering at Louisiana State University. He obtained both his baccalaureate and master's degrees from LSU ME and his doctorate from Purdue University's School of Mechanical Engineering. He has been actively engaged in teaching, research and curricula development since joining the faculty in 1988.

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Roger Seals Louisiana State University


Vaneshette Henderson Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge

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Vaneshette Henderson is the Pre-College Programs Coordinator for the Office for Diversity Programs with the Louisiana State University College of Engineering. She received her bachelos degree in physics from Xavier University of Louisiana; mastes degree in biomedical engineering from the University of Michigan; she will receive her doctorate in curriculum and instruction from LSU in May of 2010. Her research interests and areas of specializations include pre-college science and engineering education, informal program learning and teaching, recruitment, retention and development of underrepresented students in STEM disciplines.

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


S-STEM ENG^2 Scholars for Success Engineering Engagement Abstract

The National Science Foundation (NSF) sponsored Louisiana State University S-STEM scholarship project in the College of Engineering (CoE) provides monetary, academic and community support to academically talented and financially needy engineering students while targeting women and ethnic minorities. The ultimate project objectives are to provide support to the recipient scholars so they can complete a degree in engineering/construction management (E/CM) and increase the percentage of women and minority E/CM students.

The project encompasses three major components: recruitment, retention and placement. Recruitment consisted of communications with high school counselors, direct mailings to candidates, and collaboration with high school math and science teachers and college faculty. While the recruitment and awards were focused on financial need and under-represented groups, the program was open to anyone with a demonstrated financial need. Retention efforts leveraged components implemented as part of the existing NSF STEP Project within the college. The suite of engineering STEP retention activities/programs includes peer mentoring, summer engineering enhancement camp, academic tutoring, faculty development and a freshmen introduction to engineering course (ENGR 1050). New retention activities developed specifically for the S- STEM scholars program include a seminar series held in the fall and a spring seminar series, ENGR 2050, and the development and implementation of a summer jobs program. Additionally, the CoE Diversity staff conducted monthly, individual meeting with the scholars to establish a relationship with the student and identify problem areas early.

The S-STEM scholarship project in the CoE at Louisiana State University (LSU) was funded in August 2007 and has entered the second year of scholarship implementation (August 2009). Initially, financial support was provided to 20 incoming freshmen, and four students with junior standing for the fall 2008 cohort. Two freshmen were added in spring 2009 to replace those who left the program that semester. The fall 2009 cohort consisted of eight incoming freshmen and five students with upper level standing. The scholars program demographics support the targeted under-represented students.

Retention of students in engineering is a primary goal of the project, and of all 22 students who were part of the S-STEM 2008 freshmen cohort, only four changed majors, three in a STEM discipline and one in mass communication. One student who continued in engineering transferred to a smaller university at the end of the fall 2008 semester. This yields a first year engineering retention rate of 82%, as compared to the 11 year historical CoE first year retention rate of 73%. Six freshmen students have not been able to maintain the required GPA of 2.75, although all have remained in E/CM at LSU for the fall 2009 semester.

The S-STEM program has primarily been assessed using student academic performance and a program elements survey completed by students at the end of the spring 2009 semester. The mean cumulative GPA was 2.912 for the S-STEM 2008 freshman cohort, and it compares well with the 2007-2008 academic year GPA of 2.798 for all freshman engineering majors. The upperclassman S-STEM scholars performed well academically, and they had a cumulative GPA


Jones, S., & Rusch, K., & Waggenspack, W., & Seals, R., & Henderson, V. (2010, June), S Stem: Eng^2 Scholars For Success Engineering Engagement Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16143

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2010 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015