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WIP: Mitigating Transfer Shock for Undergraduates in Engineering to Increase Diversity

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Minorities in Engineering Division Technical Session 8

Tagged Division

Minorities in Engineering

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Paper Authors


Claire Duggan Northeastern University Orcid 16x16

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Claire Duggan has a B.S. in political science from the University of Massachusetts and a M.P.A. in public administration from Northeastern University. She was appointed 2003-present Director for Programs and Operations, the Center for STEM Northeastern University; 1989-2003 Associate Director, CESAME/The Center for the Enhancement of Science and Mathematics Education, Northeastern University, and K-12 Outreach Coordinator, CenSSIS/ALERT, Northeastern University; and 1981-1989 Associate Director for Finance and Administration, Center for Electromagnetics Research (CER), Northeastern University. Publications/Papers: Reenergizing and Reengaging Students Interest through CAPSULE; A Novel and Evolutionary Method on Educating Teachers to Promote STEM Careers Jessica Chin, Abe Zeid, Claire Duggan, Sagar Kamarthi (IEEE ISEC 2011); and “Implementing the Capstone Experience Concept for Teacher Professional Development” Jessica Chin, Abe Zeid, Claire Duggan, Sagar Kamarthi (ASEE 2011). Relevant Presentations:
“K-12 Partnerships” (Department of Homeland Security/Centers of Excellence Annual Meeting 2009); “Building and Sustaining K-12 Educational Partnerships” (NSF ERC 2007 - 2010 National Meetings); “Research Experience for Teachers: Integrating Research Skills into the classroom” (UNH 2nd Annual Nanotechnology Conference for Teachers April 2006); and “Educational Outreach Programs” (2005 MA STEM Summit). She was Co-principal Investigator/Program Director, Research Experience for Teachers (RET), development and implementation of the Research Experience for Teachers site at Northeastern University; Executive Director/Founder, Young Scholars Program, development and implementation of the Young Scholars Program, a summer research program for high school students; Co-executive Director, Exxon Mobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp, development and implementation of a residential camp for middle school students; Liaison, StepUP Imitative, coordinate Northeastern University’s involvement with the StepUP initiative, a partnership effort between five universities and eleven Boston Public Schools; Project Director, IMPACT New England: A Regional Curriculum Implementation Effort, coordinated program development and implementation; Seminar Leader, Northeastern University School of Education, facilitated a group of students participating in the Introduction to Education course; Project Support Liaison, Teacher Innovation program, provided support to teachers/schools in the development and implementation of Teacher Innovation Programs (TIP), provided technical assistance to teachers through the proposal process, conducted proposal-writing workshops; Co-facilitator (2004), Boston East Pipeline Network; and Alumni, Lead Boston 2004 (The National Conference for Community and Justice). She won the 2006 Northeastern University Aspiration Award, and was recognized at the 2003 Northeastern University Reception honoring Principal Investigators that obtained funding in excess of $1 million over a five-year period.

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Rachelle Reisberg Northeastern University

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Rachelle Reisberg is Assistant Dean for Engineering Enrollment and Retention as well as Director of Women in Engineering at Northeastern University. Prior to joining Northeastern University, Rachelle held a wide range of management positions in IBM, Hanover Insurance, and was the President of a high tech start-up company.

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Richard R. Harris Northeastern University

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Assistant Dean for Academic Scholarship, Mentoring & Outreach;
Director of Multicultural Engineering Programs; NELSAMP internal Co-PI and Coordinator

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Brad Lehman


Russell Faux

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Russell Faux, Ed.D. studied philosophy at the Universities of Chicago and Wisconsin before turning to education and completing his doctorate at Boston University. He taught language and literature for six years at the University of Padua in Italy. After a year as a Spencer Scholar at Stanford University, Dr. Faux returned to Italy as a research consultant for Bolt, Beranek, and Newman. Dr. Faux held senior research positions at TERC and Riverdeep Interactive (perhaps best known for the Carmen Sandiego software) before starting Davis Square Research Associates in 2001. His work encompasses qualitative and quantitative methods, including grounded theory, instrument development and validation, quantitative modeling, and social network analysis. DSRA clients have included the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, Purdue University, the University of Maine, Tufts University, the Boston Museum of Science, Boston University, the University of Massachusetts, the U.S. Department of Education, Houghton Mifflin, Verizon, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

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Luis Rafael Frias II

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As part of its response to the anticipated workforce needs in STEM fields, the National Science Foundation S-STEM initiative provides essential scholarship support to academically talented and diverse students with interests in STEM careers. Success for this initiative is essential to support the broadening participation of underrepresented students in STEM fields across the nation. While supporting more traditionally matriculated students remains an abiding commitment, the S-POWER (Student Pathways Opening World Energy Resources) initiative at Northeastern University has turned toward the expansion of URM students transferring from Historically Black Colleges and Universities as well as regional community colleges. The development of the S-POWER program has entailed a complex set of efforts involving a broad set of stakeholders both within Northeastern University and between Northeastern and the program’s partner schools. This paper will map out the multilevel, multifaceted XX strategies for the creation and maintenance of a program supporting transfer URM students in engineering.

This has considerable implications for the STEM professions, such as engineering, where racial/ethnic minorities, first-generation, women, and the socio-economically disadvantaged make up a disproportionately low percentage of the workforce. As a result of this talent development challenge, colleges and universities around the country are placing a growing emphasis on programs that allow students to gain work and research experience and are beginning to define success by more than just academic learning.

A holistic integrated approach to the recruitment, selection, and support of transfer students into engineering is essential to ensure academic and career success. The theoretical framework of Bandura’s Self-Efficacy model, along with the implementation of Chickering’s Student Development Theory is shown to be meaningful and impactful through this process. The model utilized at Northeastern University prior to and during selected student’s undergraduate experience includes but is not limited to the following.

Pre-enrollment 1. Pre-transfer identification 2. Two-way Institutional visits 3. Cross-institutional peer-to-peer student interactions 4. Experiential learning opportunities (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) 5. Application and Financial Aid support Transition 1. Summer Bridge

During 1. Course selection support 2. Academic Advising / Persistence Advising 3. Expanded Advising/Mentoring (Faculty/Senior Administrator) 4. Peer-to-Peer networking/support 5. Tutoring/Supplemental Instruction 6. Workforce Development and Preparation

The XX program is mentoring and supporting a cohort of 100+ STEM Scholars across 5 institutions, which consists of community colleges, an HBCU, and PWI.

The focus of this project/paper/presentation will be based on Exploratory Research. This paper will discuss the essential elements of the XX program. As a result of Exploratory Research, the paper will address the following research questions: 1. What compilation of academic and social supports are essential to help mitigate transfer shock in STEM? 2. What pre-transfer elements increase the likelihood of bachelor’s degree completion in STEM? 3. How can essential program components addressing the mitigation of transfer shock be institutionalized?

This paper will also share results to date of the XX program, as well as the analysis and visualization of these results.

Duggan, C., & Reisberg, R., & Harris, R. R., & Lehman, B., & Faux, R., & Frias, L. R. (2020, June), WIP: Mitigating Transfer Shock for Undergraduates in Engineering to Increase Diversity Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35561

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