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STEM Graduation Outcomes of the Rice University Emerging Scholars STEM Intervention and Summer Bridge Program

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Conference

2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

NSF Grantees: S-STEM 2

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count

9

DOI

10.18260/1-2--35204

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/35204

Download Count

145

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Paper Authors

biography

Brittany Bradford Rice University

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Brittany Bradford is a fifth-year graduate student in industrial and organizational psychology at Rice University, working with Dr. Margaret Beier. She graduated from Texas Christian University with a B.B.A. degree in finance and from Rice University with an M.A. in Psychological Sciences. Her research interests include education, learning, and motivation.

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Margaret E. Beier Rice University

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Margaret Beier is a Professor of Psychology at Rice University in Houston, TX. She received her B.A. from Colby College, and her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Margaret’s research examines the predictors of performance in educational and occupational settings. In particular, she is interested in the effects of examining gender, age, ability, personality, motivation, and self-regulation on a range of outcomes. She is a member of the American Educational Research Association and a Fellow of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychologists.

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Megan McSpedon Rice University

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Megan McSpedon is the Associate Director of the Rice Emerging Scholars Program. She has been with the program since it was founded in 2012. Megan received a B.A. in English from Rice University.

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Michael Wolf Rice University

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Michael Wolf is Professor of Mathematics at Rice University as well as Faculty Director of the Rice Emerging Scholars Program, an initiative he co-founded in 2012. The Rice Emerging Scholars program is a comprehensive 2-4 year program that begins the summer before matriculation for a group of matriculating Rice students whose preparation for STEM is weaker than those of their peers.

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Matthew Taylor Rice University

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Dr. Matthew Taylor is Associate Provost at Rice University, where he oversees the Office of Undergraduate Research and Inquiry, co-directs the Rice Emerging Scholars Program (RESP), and provides strategic leadership for university efforts to support first-generation and low-income students. He earned B.A. and B.B.A. degrees at Southern Methodist University and Master's and Ph.D. degrees at Rice University.

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Abstract

STEM graduation rates, cumulative GPAs, and final GPA distributions of years 2016 to 2019 graduates were evaluated for students who participated in Rice University’s STEM intervention (the Rice Emerging Scholars Program, or RESP, which is partly funded through an NSF S-STEM grant), which begins with a pre-freshman STEM summer bridge program. RESP participants (n=89) and a comparison category of students (n=81) were identified as being underprepared for STEM coursework. Outcomes from the rest of the graduating classes were also assessed (i.e., non-comparison, non-RESP students).

Incoming high school AP and IB credits were a moderate predictor of cumulative graduation GPA. After controlling for test credits, student status predicted cumulative graduation GPA, with higher GPAs in the non-comparison, non-RESP condition. Seventy-two RESP students graduated with a STEM major (81% STEM retention) compared with 62% of comparison students and 87% of non-comparison, non-RESP students. A chi-square test found a significant difference in favor of higher STEM retention among RESP students than the comparison students. Of RESP STEM graduates, 94% graduated with at least a B- GPA, compared with 86% of the comparison students, and 97% of the non-comparison, non-RESP students. A chi-square test approached significance in favor of more B- and above GPAs among RESP students than the comparison students.

Overall, we found that high school preparation predicted STEM students’ graduation GPAs. Further, although RESP participation did not predict the cumulative GPAs of STEM majors, the program may: 1) improve STEM degree persistence and 2) ensure that more of the program’s STEM graduates achieve at least a B- cumulative graduation GPA. The number of RESP and comparison students is relatively small, yet these findings nevertheless offer preliminary evidence that the intervention may be effective at improving STEM outcomes for students who would otherwise struggle the most with their coursework. As more students graduate from the university, we will be able to make stronger conclusions about the effectiveness of RESP in improving outcomes of underprepared STEM students.

Bradford, B., & Beier, M. E., & McSpedon, M., & Wolf, M., & Taylor, M. (2020, June), STEM Graduation Outcomes of the Rice University Emerging Scholars STEM Intervention and Summer Bridge Program Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35204

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