This content will become publicly available on July 1, 2023

STEM Scholars Engaging in Local Problems
Eastern Mennonite University received a 5-year S-STEM award for their STEM Scholars Engaging in Local Problems (SSELP) program. The goal of this place-based, interdisciplinary scholarship program is to increase the number of academically talented, low-income students who graduate in STEM fields and either pursue immediate employment in STEM careers or STEM-related service or continue their STEM education in graduate school. In 2018 and 2019, two cohorts of seven students were recruited to major in biology, chemistry, engineering, computer science, mathematics, or environmental science. A key part of recruitment involved on-campus interviews, during a February Scholarship Day, between STEM faculty and potential scholars. As the yield rate for the event is high (54-66%), the university has continued this practice, funding additional STEM scholarships. In order to retain and graduate the scholars in STEM fields, the SSELP faculty designed and carried out various projects and activities to support the students. The SSELP Scholars participated in a first-year STEM Career Practicum class, a one-credit course that connected students with regional STEM practitioners across a variety of fields. The scholars were supported by peer tutors embedded in STEM classes, and now many are tutors themselves. They participated in collaborative projects where the cohorts worked to identify more »
Authors:
; ; ;
Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10385686
Journal Name:
ASEE Annual Conference proceedings
ISSN:
1524-4644
5. This research paper examines retaining traditionally underrepresented minorities (URM) in STEM fields. The retention of URM students in STEM fields is a current area of focus for engineering education research. After an extensive literature review and examination of best practices in retaining the targeted group, a cohort-based, professional development program with a summer bridge component was developed at a large land grant institution in the Mid-Atlantic region. One programmatic goal was to increase retention of underrepresented students in the engineering college which, ultimately, is expected to increase diversity in the engineering workforce. The program has a strong focus on cohort building, teamwork, mentorship, and developing an engineering identity. Students participate in a week-long summer bridge component prior to the start of their first semester. During their first year, students take a class as a cohort each semester, participate in an industrial site visit, and interact with faculty mentors. Since 2016 the program has been funded by a National Science Foundation S-STEM grant, which provides scholarships to eligible program participants. Scholarships start at $4,500 during year one, and are renewable for up to five years, with an incremental increase of$1000 annually for years one through four. Even with the professionalmore »