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T-CUP: Two + Three Community College to University Programs Project: An Innovative Pilot Model for Broadened Pathways into Technical Careers

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Two Year-to-Four Year Transfer Topics Part II

Tagged Division

Two Year College Division

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1367.1 - 22.1367.9



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Paper Authors


Patricia F. Mead Norfolk State University

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Patricia F. Mead, Ph.D., earned the doctoral degree in Electrical Engineering with a concentration in Electrophysics from University of Maryland, College Park, in 1994. She joined the faculty of Norfolk State University (NSU) as Professor of Optical Engineering in summer 2004. Since her appointment, Dr. Mead has been active in the development of innovative curricula for Optical Engineering courses, and she serves as Education Director for the NSF funded Nano- and Bio-Inspired Materials and Devices Center for Research Excellence in Science and Technology (CREST). Dr. Mead also maintains an active laboratory group that develops laser systems for optical sensing and LIDAR applications. Dr. Mead has previously served as Senior Program Officer at the National Academy of Engineering and served as study director for the pivotal report, Engineering of 2020: Visions of Engineering in the New Century.

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Gwen Lee-Thomas Quality Measures, LLC Orcid 16x16

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Gwen Lee-Thomas has been an external consultant for over 12 years serving businesses as well as private and public colleges and universities in the state of Washington, California, Florida, Indiana, Illinois, Nebraska and Virginia in diversity, STEM education, organizational culture, and leadership strategies. Gwen has conducted over 30 workshops and presentations on cultural, racial, and generational diversity; assessment, evaluation, and accreditation; teaching and learning; and leadership.

Gwen teaches organization administration and culture, internship experiences, multicultural university, project management capstone course, and strategic planning and institutional effectiveness at Old Dominion University in the graduate program of the Darden College of Education. Prior to ODU, she was the Executive Assistant to the President from 2004 – 2005 and Director of Assessment from 1998 through 2004 at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology—a small private STEM college in Indiana. She has also served as an editorial associate of a literary journal and office manager of a multi-million dollar construction company. Additional teaching experiences have included Career Switchers of the U.S. Department of Education and The Diversity Institute—both of which are housed at Old Dominion University.

Gwen’s leadership service has included State Board Chair of the Indiana Minority Health Coalition—which is a legislated grassroots organization that provides education, advocacy, and research to eliminate health disparities among minority populations in the state of Indiana; and Commissioner on the Indiana Commission for Higher Education appointed by the late Governor Frank O’Bannon. Other service has included, serving on the community relations board for the U.S. Penitentiary of Federal Bureau of Prisons, the United Way Grants Sub-Committee of Vigo County, and Academic Business Council of the Greater Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce in Indiana.

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Abe Eftekhari Northern Virginia Community College

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Abe Eftekhari.

Ph.D. in Mathematical Science, University of Texas
M.S. in Nuclear Engineering, MIT.

Abe Eftekhari has is presently the Dean for Mathematics, Science & Engineering at NVCC (since July 2007). He is also a Environmental/Energy consultant with Picket Consulting and On-Location.
He served as the Chairperson of the Computer Science and Information Technology Department of Southeastern University (1998 - 2007).
Before joining SEU, he was the Chief Scientist responsible for Research and Development Programs at Mnemonic Systems (FBI pattern recognition contracts) in Washington, DC. (1996 - 1998).
He has worked as a Research Scientist at the NASA Langley Research Center while teaching at Hampton University as a full professor (1989 - 1996).
Principal Engineer at Reuters Information Service in Long Island (1987 - 1988).
Bio-mathematician at the Cornell University Medical College (1985 - 1987).
Postdoc./Physics Lecturer at UTA (1982 – 1985).
Manager of the training department at Bell Operation Corporation -Textron in Hurst, Texas (1978 - 1980).

Abe Eftekhari is also an adjunct member of the faculties of Johns Hopkins University, George Mason University, George Washington University, and the Maryland University. His previous teaching positions were with Hampton University, Dowling College, Tarrent County Junior College, and the University of Texas at Arlington.

Abe Eftekhari has been recipient of several research grants from NSF, NASA, Space Grant Consortium, and NIH. In recent years he has been the Principal Investigator of three research grants in data-mining, satellite communication and Web-enabled Intelligent Tutoring System.
Abe Eftekhari publishes in Physics and Material Science Journals under the subject of “Positron Annihilation Spectroscopy and Micro/Nano-structural Characteristics of Material”. He has patented five inventions, including a table-top low-energy positron accelerator apparatus.

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Ji Hyon Mun Thomas Nelson Community College

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T-CUP: Two + Three Community College to University Programs: An Innovative Pilot Model for Broadened Pathways into Technical CareersEngineering and computer science continue to be gateway technical professions leading toeconomic and occupational stability. Given the increasingly technological context of manyglobal challenges, a diverse technical workforce is critically important for the national securityand competitiveness of any nation, and particularly for the U.S. Norfolk State University, aHistorically Black University (HBCU), established its Department of Engineering in fall 2003.The department administers Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Electronics and OpticalEngineering. The Engineering Department recently launched an innovative partnership with fivecommunity and two-year college programs to strengthen the community college pathway intoengineering careers. Central Virginia Community College, College of Southern Maryland,Northern Virginia Community College, Thomas Nelson Community College, and TidewaterCommunity College are the inaugural partners of the two plus three community college touniversity programs project (TT-CCUPP or T-CUP). T-CUP participants matriculate at acommunity or two-year college working toward the Associate of Science in Engineering degree,then enter a three year program at NSU. Upon completion of the full five-year curriculum,participants will have earned three post-secondary degrees: the associate, bachelor, and master ofscience degrees in engineering.The project team will report on its inaugural year activities and findings, including results offocused assessment activities to understand critical factors in recruitment, detailed analysis oftargeted program components in academic enrichment, mechanisms for community building andnetworking across the six T-CUP partner campuses, and key challenges experienced inimplementing the program design. Finally, statistics such as program enrollment and studentacademic success will be reported.Analogous to three plus two undergraduate programs that have for several decades been used tobridge physics, math, and science students attending liberal arts universities into an engineeringdiscipline, our program is expected to be a model for attracting a larger pool of students into theengineering profession.

Mead, P. F., & Lee-Thomas, G., & Eftekhari, A., & Mun, J. H. (2011, June), T-CUP: Two + Three Community College to University Programs Project: An Innovative Pilot Model for Broadened Pathways into Technical Careers Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18947

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