Wright College, an urban open-access community college, independently accredited within a larger community college system, is a federally recognized Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) with the largest community college enrollment of Hispanic students in its state. In 2018, Wright College received an inaugural National Science Foundation-Hispanic Serving Institution (NSF:HSI) research project grant “Building Capacity: Building Bridges into Engineering and Computer Science”. The project's overall goals are to increase underrepresented students pursuing an associate degree (AES) in engineering and computer science and streamline two transitions: high school to community college and 2-year to 4-year institutions. Through the grant, Wright College created a holistic and programmatic framework that examines and correlates engineering students' self-efficacy (the belief that students will succeed as engineers) and a sense of belonging with student success. The project focuses on Near-STEM ready students (students who need up to four semesters of math remediation before moving into Calculus 1). The project assesses qualitative and quantitative outcomes through surveys and case study interviews supplemented with retention, persistence, transfer, associate and bachelor's degree completion rates, and time for degree completion. The key research approach is to correlate student success data with self-efficacy and belonging measures. Outcomes and Impacts Three years into the project,more »
Effects of the COVID-19 crisis on survey fieldwork: Experience and lessons from two major supplements to the U.S. Panel Study of Income Dynamics
Two major supplements to the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) were in the field during the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States: the 2019 waves of the PSID Child Development Supplement (CDS-19) and the PSID Transition into Adulthood Supplement (TAS-19). Both CDS-19 and TAS-19 abruptly terminated all face-to-face fieldwork and, for TAS-19, shifted interviewers from working in a centralized call center to working from their homes. Overall, COVID-19 had a net negative effect on response rates in CDS-19 and terminated all home visits that represented an important study component. For TAS-19, the overall effect of Covid-19 was uncertain, but negative. The costs were high of adapting to COVID-19 and providing paid time-off benefits to staff affected by the pandemic. Longitudinal surveys, such as CDS, TAS, and PSID, that span the pandemic will provide valuable information on its life course and intergenerational consequences, making ongoing data collection of vital importance.
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