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The Party's Over: Sustaining Support Programs When The Funding Is Done

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Conference

2008 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Institutional and Curricular Reform

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count

14

Page Numbers

13.1251.1 - 13.1251.14

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/4431

Download Count

14

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Paper Authors

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John Gardner Boise State University

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John F. Gardner is the Associate Vice President for Energy Research, Policy and Campus Sustainability at Boise State University. He is also the former chair of the Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering Department at Boise State and current Director of the Hewlett Foundation funded Engineering Schools of the West Initiative at Boise State. His research interests, in addition to engineering education, include dynamic systems and sustainable energy systems.

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Pat Pyke Boise State University

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Patricia A. Pyke is the Director of Education Research for the College of Engineering at Boise State University. She oversees projects in freshman programs, math support, mentoring, outreach, and women’s programs. She earned a B.S.E. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Duke University and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of California at Berkeley.

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Cheryl Schrader Boise State University

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Cheryl B. Schrader is Dean of the College of Engineering and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Boise State University. Dean Schrader has an extensive record of publications and sponsored research in the systems, control and engineering education fields. She received the 2005 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Engineering and Mathematics Mentoring from the White House for an enduring, strong, and personal commitment to underrepresented engineering students and faculty.

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Janet Callahan Boise State University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-6665-1584

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Janet M. Callahan is the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Boise State University and a Professor in the Materials Science and Engineering Department. Janet received her Ph.D. in Materials Science, her M.S. in Metallurgy and her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Connecticut. Her educational research interests include freshmen engineering programs, math success, and recruitment and retention issues in engineering.

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Amy Moll Boise State University

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Amy J. Moll is the Chair of the Boise State University Materials Science and Engineering Department. She has experience in R&D and manufacturing of microelectronic materials and packaging and continues that research today. Dr. Moll is also involved in development of through wafer interconnects in Si and projects developing Ceramic meso scale systems (C-MEMs). Additionally, she oversees several scholarship and internship programs for lower division engineering students.

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Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

The Party’s Over: Sustaining Support Programs When the Funding is Done

Abstract

In the lifecycle of an engineering education grant, the phase where best practices are sustained and disseminated is perhaps the most crucial stage for maximizing impact. Yet this transition phase often receives the least attention as project team enthusiasm can wane, while funding tapers off, and faculty priorities are pulled in other directions. There are numerous obstacles associated with sustaining program changes, even those perceived as very valuable. Typical challenges are: What happens when the funding runs out? What grant-developed programs should be sustained by the university? Does the institution need to internally allocate resources in an annual budget large enough to replace the grant?

Ultimately, sustaining successful programmatic improvements is about “change management” in an institution. In this paper, we will review the literature relating to institutional change in engineering education. We will build on current curriculum change models, in the context of a major engineering education grant at Boise State University that included a variety of curricular enhancements, academic support, and outreach efforts. Over the past two years, the project team focused considerable effort on institutionalizing the most successful programs, and met with mixed results. While many programs will continue and benefit students long-term, other programs, even ones with stellar success and solid assessment, have not been entirely adopted for a number of reasons that we will examine. We will review the role assessment played in the process of program transfer (from the grant to the university) and lessons learned about building alliances with other campus partners to achieve university-level buy-in, well before the last stage of the grant. Finally, we will discuss two factors that are not identified in institutional change literature, but that contributed significantly to the successful transition of our programs — the importance of taking a research based approach, and flexibility in time and resource allocation.

Introduction & Overview

At Boise State University, we are currently winding down a multi-year, $1,000,000 program development grant to support freshman and under prepared students in the first two years of engineering programs. (The grant period was initially four years, then extended to five, with no additional funding.) Boise State University [enrollment 19,540 overall, 1,771 engineering], located in Boise, Idaho, is a metropolitan institution that provides affordable access to education for a diverse population of capable students, from National Merit Scholars seeking an urban college experience to non-traditional students balancing family, work and education. Most of the students are undergraduates and a significant portion are first generation and/or lower income.

Our grant-funded initiative comprised a broad array of academic enrichment and support (internships, supplemental instruction, scholarships), curricular changes (integrated freshman and pre-freshman learning communities) and recruitment (community programs, camps). The overarching goal defined by the sponsoring agency, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, was to “support programs to increase retention and recruitment efforts, and to improve student

Gardner, J., & Pyke, P., & Schrader, C., & Callahan, J., & Moll, A. (2008, June), The Party's Over: Sustaining Support Programs When The Funding Is Done Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. https://peer.asee.org/4431

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