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Title: The SEECRS Scholar Academy at Whatcom Community College: Three Cohorts of S-STEM Scholarships Later
The STEM Excellence through Engagement in Collaboration, Research, and Scholarship (SEECRS) project at Whatcom Community College is in year four of a five-year NSF S-STEM funded program aiming to support academically talented students with demonstrated financial need in biology, chemistry, geology, computer science, engineering, and physics. This program offered financial, academic, and professional support to three two-year cohorts of students and is in the final year of the third and final cohort of the currently funded grant cycle. The SEECRS project aimed to utilize a STEM-specific guided pathways approach to strengthen recruitment, retention, and matriculation of STEM students at the community college level. Over the course of the program 39 individuals received scholarship support. The program supported scholarship recipients through participation in the SEECRS Scholars Academy, a multi-pronged approach to student support combining elements of community building, faculty mentorship, targeted advising activities, authentic science practice, and social activities. Key elements of the program are: a required two-credit course that emphasized STEM identity development, course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) in Biology, Chemistry and Engineering courses, funded summer research opportunities, and paring of each scholar with a faculty mentor. This paper presents data from the first four years of the program including participant outcomes and feedback on their experiences. Results from project evaluation activities such as pre and post surveys, focus groups, exit interviews, and faculty surveys are also presented and analyzed to compare how gains reported by program participants regarding such attributes as their STEM identities and sense of belonging compare to responses from a control group of students who did not participate in the program. Preliminary identification of some program best practices will also be presented.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
1643633
NSF-PAR ID:
10311355
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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