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Title: Promoting Academic Success of Economically Disadvantaged, STEM-Interested, First- and Second-Year Undergraduate Students via the ACCESS in STEM Program at University of Washington Tacoma
We are facing a national challenge of low retention rates for STEM-interested students. At the University of Washington Tacoma (UWT), a public, predominantly undergraduate, minority-serving institution (Asian-American, Native American, Pacific Islander, AANAPISI), only 28% of high achieving (high school GPA>3.0), STEM-interested at entry, Pell-eligible, first-time-in-college (FTIC) students undergraduates have entered a STEM major by the beginning of their 2nd yr, and the proportion is significantly lower for PEERs (persons excluded from STEM due to ethnicity or race [Asai, 2020]) at only 16%, representing a substantial equity gap. To address this problem, we developed the Achieving Change in our Communities for Equity and Student Success (ACCESS) in STEM Program. Supported by an NSF S-STEM grant since 2018, the program supports low-income, STEM-interested students by providing focused mentoring, a living learning community, a course-based research experience in their first year, and scholarships in their first two years of college. Based on the Student Persistence model of Graham et al. (2013), we hypothesized that these interventions would increase retention, academic performance, and progress into and through STEM majors. Our approach builds upon existing research demonstrating the importance of early research experiences (Thiry et al., 2012) and intensive mentoring and community building, particularly in the context of AANAPISI institutions (Nguyen et al., 2018).  more » « less
Award ID(s):
1741595
NSF-PAR ID:
10319967
Author(s) / Creator(s):
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Understanding Interventions Journal
Volume:
12
Issue:
S1
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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