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Successes and Lessons in Year 4 of an S-STEM Summer Sophomore Bridge during the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Conference

2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count

5

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/37782

Download Count

19

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Paper Authors

biography

Katie Evans Louisiana Tech University

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Dr. Katie Evans is the Associate Dean of Strategic Initiatives in the College of Engineering and Science, Academic Director of Mathematics and Statistics and Online Programs, the Entergy LP and L/NOPSI #3 and #4 Professor of Mathematics, the Director of the Integrated STEM Education Research Center, and the Director of the Office for Women in Science and Engineering and Louisiana Tech University. Dr. Evans also serves as the Chair of the Grand Challenges Scholars Program New Programs Committee, founded by the National Academy of Engineering. She earned her B.S. in Mathematics from Morehead State University, and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Mathematics at Virginia Tech. After a postdoctoral position in Mechanical Engineering at Oregon State University, she joined Louisiana Tech in 2005. Her current research focuses on STEM education and diversity and inclusion initiatives.

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Mitzi Desselles Louisiana Tech University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-2806-9838

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Dr. Desselles is Associate Professor and Chester Ellis Endowed Professorship in the Department of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences at Louisiana Tech University. She is a member of the graduate faculty in Industrial/Organizational Psychology.

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Marisa K. Orr Clemson University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-5944-5846

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Marisa K. Orr is an Assistant Professor in Engineering and Science Education with a joint appointment in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Clemson University. Her research interests include student persistence and pathways in engineering, gender equity, diversity, and academic policy. Dr. Orr is a recipient of the NSF CAREER Award for her research entitled, “Empowering Students to be Adaptive Decision-Makers.”

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Abstract

Louisiana Tech University has completed its fourth year of an S-STEM Scholarship Program to serve as a Sophomore Bridge for engineering majors. The Fast-Forward Scholarship program supports engineering majors in the summer between their first and second years to take one engineering and one mathematics course, along with a professional development (PD) course that includes opportunities to visit regional companies employing engineers. The purpose of the program is to provide students with scholarships and support while they have a gentler transition into more challenging sophomore engineering and mathematics coursework. Additionally, completing this coursework early allows for more enriching experiences later in the curriculum, such as minors, internships, and undergraduate research.

The first cohort of Fast-Forward students from Summer 2017 have now had sufficient time to achieve a four-year graduation, while the second cohort from Summer 2018 would now be enrolled in senior design coursework if they remained in engineering and on-track in their degree plans. This poster will examine the on-track success for both of these cohorts and the four-year graduation rates of the first cohort.

Additionally, the fourth year of running the program in Summer 2020 saw significant changes due to COVID-19. This poster will describe the program changes and challenges that existed in offering the program in a purely online environment. Recognizing the potential for a Summer 2021 program in an online or hybrid environment, we will summarize lessons learned from the 2020 experience.

The Fast-Forward project is continuing to support the training of other students, even beyond the participants. In addition to the Industrial/Organizational Psychology graduate students involved in the project, an undergraduate mathematics major has joined the team for her senior research capstone project. To investigate institutional sustainability of the project post-funding, a team of graduate students is presently looking at the student outcomes and financial aspects of the Fast-Forward program, as part of their Six Sigma Black Belt certification from Louisiana Tech University.

Evans, K., & Desselles, M., & Orr, M. K. (2021, July), Successes and Lessons in Year 4 of an S-STEM Summer Sophomore Bridge during the COVID-19 Pandemic Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37782

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