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The Impact of Federally Funded Scholarship Programs on the Success of Transfer Students at a Public Engineering College

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Cultivating Engineering Scholarship and Research Mindsets Among URM Students

Tagged Division

Minorities in Engineering

Tagged Topic


Page Count


Page Numbers

26.1543.1 - 26.1543.9



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Paper Authors


David M. Ford University of Massachusetts, Amherst

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David M. Ford is a Professor of Chemical Engineering and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Engineering at UMass Amherst. He is also on the Faculty Advisory Board for the Diversity Programs Office (DPO) in the College. The DPO provides academic and non-academic support to increase enrollment, retention, and graduation among under-represented minorities and women.

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Paula Rees University of Massachusetts, Amherst

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Paula L. Sturdevant Rees is Director of the Massachusetts Water Resources Research Center (WRRC). In addition, she is the Director of Diversity Programs for the College of Engineering at UMass Amherst. As Director of Diversity Programs, Dr. Rees works with students, faculty and staff to provide exceptional education and professional growth opportunities for under-represented students in engineering. She is dedicated to increasing and maintaining student interest in engineering and related science and technology and works with several regional K12 programs to help increase the pipeline of students interested in pursuing careers in these fields.

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Kathleen G. Rubin University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Kathleen Rubin is the Associate Dean for Student Affairs in the UMass Amherst College of Engineering. She has over 30 years experience in recruiting, retaining and graduating engineering students. From 2003 through 2007, she also served as Director of Education, Outreach and Diversity for CASA - an NSF Engineering Research Center. She has been a Co-PI and Program Director for several previous CSEM and S-STEM awards.

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The Impact of Federally Funded Scholarship Programs on the Success   of Transfer Students at a Public Engineering College  Nationally almost half of the students receiving baccalaureate degrees in science and engineeringcomplete part of their education at a community college, and this statistic is expected to increasewith the rising costs of attending a four-year public institution. The demographics of almost allfour-year engineering programs fail to align with U.S. Census data for women and under-represented minorities. Community colleges, on the other hand, serve a high number of thesestudents. Programs designed to support community college student transition and graduationfrom four-year engineering programs will naturally increase the pipeline of diverse studentsentering the workforce.This paper will review the impacts of two National Science Foundation S-STEM (Scholarshipsin Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) grants on undergraduate minorityengineering transfer student retention and development during the period 2007-13. The programswere designed to overcome known barriers to persistence of transfer students from communitycollege, including lack of engagement on campus, underdeveloped professional work ethic andgoals, deficient study habits, fewer opportunities to gain practical competence/reflection onlearning, and working for pay. The elements of the programs included cohorting, team-building,mentoring, tutoring, and advising, as well as monetary support in the form of scholarships.Compared to control groups, the cohorts participating in these programs showed significantlyhigher retention rates, a shorter time-to-degree, and higher placement rates in industry orgraduate school. The College also experienced an increase in diversity and an expanded pipelineof students continuing on to graduate school. Key elements of the programs that lead to successwill be highlighted and the challenges for attaining sustainability discussed.

Ford, D. M., & Rees, P., & Rubin, K. G. (2015, June), The Impact of Federally Funded Scholarship Programs on the Success of Transfer Students at a Public Engineering College Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24880

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