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S-STEM: ENG2 Scholars for Success 2007-2013

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Summer and Cohort Programs for Minorities: Student Success

Tagged Division

Minorities in Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.1063.1 - 24.1063.28



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Paper Authors


Sarah Cooley Jones Louisiana State University

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Sarah Cooley Jones is an Associate Director, College of Engineering at Louisiana State University. Ms. Jones develops and manages student programs for undergraduate and graduate engineering students including programs focused on underrepresented student populations. These programs encompass scholarships, fellowships, and seminars/workshops that develop students 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 A. Rusch P.E. North Dakota State University Orcid 16x16


Warren N. Waggenspack Jr. Louisiana State University

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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 LSU faculty in 1988. As Associate Dean, he has acquired funding from NSF to support the development of several initiatives aimed at improving student retention and graduation rates as well as supporting faculty with development of effective learning and teaching pedagogies.

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S-STEM: ENG2 Scholars for Success 2007-2013The National Science Foundation (NSF) sponsored S-STEM scholarship project in the Collegeof Engineering (CoE) provided monetary, academic and community support to 59 academicallytalented and financially needy engineering undergraduate students while encouragingunderrepresented and underserved populations to be part of the program. The ultimate projectobjectives were to provide support to the recipient scholars so they could complete a degree inengineering/construction management (E/CM) and increase the percentage of underrepresentedand underserved students.The project encompassed three major components: recruitment, retention and placement.Recruitment consisted of communications with high school counselors, direct mailings toincoming freshmen candidates, and collaboration with high school math and science teachers andcollege faculty. The program was open to anyone with a demonstrated financial need. Retentionefforts leveraged components implemented as part of an existing NSF STEP Project within thecollege. The suite of engineering STEP retention activities/programs included peer mentoring,summer engineering enhancement camp, faculty development and a freshmen introduction toengineering course. New retention activities developed specifically for the S-STEM scholarsprogram included a seminar series focused on developing professional and academic skills, awinter reading program, and the development and implementation of a summer jobs programwith emphasis on connecting students with Research Experiences for Undergraduates andemployers through networking activities. Additionally, the CoE Diversity Office conductedregular individual meetings with the scholars to establish a relationship with the student andidentify problem areas early.The S-STEM scholarship project was funded from August 2007 – July 2013. Initially, financialsupport was provided to 22 incoming freshmen, and four students with junior standing for the2008 cohort. The fall 2009 cohort consisted of 8 incoming freshmen and five students with upperlevel standing. For the following three years, the scholarships were awarded to upper levelstudents. The scholars’ demographic information (Table 1) indicates that underrepresentedstudents were represented at a level higher than the CoE demographics.Increased retention and graduation of students in engineering were primary goals of the project.Of the 59 students who were part of the S-STEM program, 36 (61%) maintained scholarshipeligibility until graduation or the end of the grant, 10 changed majors (six into in a differentSTEM discipline), and only six students left the University with no indications of additionalhigher education plans. By the end of the program 44% of the scholarship participants graduatedwith an engineering/construction management degree and 51% graduated from the Universitywithin a five year time frame. This rate compares favorably with the 2007 CoE freshmen cohortrate of 37.2%, and another 22% of S-STEM participants are anticipated to graduate withengineering degrees over the next year. The number of underrepresented S-STEM scholars wasproportionally higher than the overall CoE enrollment and the scholar graduation rate washigher. Overall, the five year combined retention and graduation (May 2013) inengineering/construction management for the program was 69%.Table 1. Demographic data for all S-STEM scholars were collected for each year (not cohorts). Mean for 2008-2009 2009-2010 2010-2011 2011-2012 2012-2013 CoE1Total Scholars (#) - -- 26 27 29 24 21Female (%) 16.9 38 52 52 46 48Male (%) 83.1 63 48 48 54 52African American (%) 6.0 67 59 48 46 38Asian American (%) 4.2 4 11 10 8 4.5Caucasian (%) 84.7 25 30 38 42 48Hispanic (%) 3.9 4 0 4 4 4.52 or more2 (%) 1.2 0 0 0 0 4.5 1 Mean annual College of Engineering fall enrollment 2008-2012 was 2591. 2 Reporting for 2 or more races began fall 2011

Jones, S. C., & Rusch, K. A., & Waggenspack, W. N. (2014, June), S-STEM: ENG2 Scholars for Success 2007-2013 Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--22996

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