July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
Diversity and NSF Grantees Poster Session
This paper reports on Year 1 evaluation results and subsequent Year 2 interventions and activities of an NSF Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (S-STEM) at Fresno City College, a two-year college in Fresno, California. The results illustrate the effectiveness of the program's support interventions for student cohorts in achieving the overall program goal of increasing persistence of engineering students along pathways to graduation and beyond. Fresno City College, in Fresno California, is located is in a metro area that has one of the highest rates of concentrated poverty in the US. As a result, students face challenges of unemployment, endemic poverty, and low levels of educational attainment. The Engineering Scholars Program is designed to support students with these challenges in mind. Scholarships are awarded to cohorts of eight students each year, and are renewable for up to two years providing students maintain eligibility. In addition to scholarship money scholar cohorts are provided with a suite of support interventions including seminars, events, faculty mentoring, peer mentoring, academic advising, and participation in undergraduate research in collaboration with California State University, Fresno. Year 1 Evaluation results were overwhelmingly positive along each of the major program support interventions. The goals of the S-STEM as proposed are to 1) Create a diverse and welcoming STEM climate on the community college campus through events and media that encourage broader participation. 2) Increase participation in engineering among economically disadvantaged students through targeted outreach and recruitment. 3) Increase persistence of engineering students along discipline specific pathways to transfer and graduation from four-year universities through a series of structured support interventions. And, 4) Establish on-going collaborative transfer support processes between the Fresno City College engineering program and CSU-Fresno. Year 1 evaluation results highlight how the program cohort student support interventions promote the achievement of each of these goals. Results indicate that students are engaged in the support and intervention activities conducted by program faculty and are finding them useful in supporting them to understand engineering and engineering research. Scholars valued the mentoring they received from faculty members in assisting them with course work, providing resources to help them be successful in their classes and supporting them in their degree pathways. They also benefited from the personal support mentors provided including encouragement to persist, helping them manage personal and academic challenges, and giving them insight into their future careers. Evaluation findings show that scholars appreciate the opportunity to be part of a community of classmates and faculty members. This extended to their undergraduate research experiences which offered community college students an opportunity to interact with professors at a four-year university. Future findings from this project will create new knowledge in understanding how socio-cultural context of students from such underserved areas experience community and develop a STEM identity. The project research team hypothesizes that engaging students in a collaborative cohort experience will support students’ movement from the periphery of learning to the center of the community where learning is a collective experience guided by community membership and that this process will enable students to develop a strong STEM identity.
Adams, E. A., & Haden, C., & Dancz, C. L. A., & Ahn, Y., & Willis, K. (2021, July), Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S-STEM) Engineering Scholars Program at a Two-Year College: Preliminary Interventions and Outcomes Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37700
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