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  1. The California Community College system plays an important role in providing affordable and accessible education to diverse student populations by allowing them to complete all of their lower-division course work and then transfer to a four-year institution to complete a bachelor’s degree. However, the increasing divergence of the lower-division requirements among different four-year institutions and among the different fields of engineering, coupled with decreasing enrollments and resources, has forced many community colleges to cancel low-enrollment classes and high-cost programs including those in engineering. To address this issue, four community colleges in the San Francisco Bay Area developed an innovative program titled Creating Alternative Learning Strategies for Transfer Engineering Programs (CALSTEP). Funded by the National Science Foundation through the Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) program, CALSTEP aims to enable small-to-medium community college engineering programs to support a comprehensive set of lower-division engineering courses that are delivered either completely online, or with limited face-to-face interactions. In addition to developing and implementing curriculum materials and resources for the core lower-division engineering courses, one of the main components of CALSTEP is disseminating the curriculum widely in California community college engineering programs. This is done through the Summer Engineering Teaching Institute, which is a two-daymore »teaching workshop that introduces community college engineering faculty to the CALSTEP curriculum, and assists faculty in implementing the curriculum and developing alternative teaching and learning strategies to increase enrollment and improve teaching effectiveness. Results of curriculum development and the implementation of the Summer Engineering Teaching Institute will be highlighted in this paper, as well as future plans to maximize the impact of the program in increasing access to engineering education among thousands of community college engineering students and strengthening engineering transfer programs in the state.« less
  2. Broadening participation in engineering among underrepresented minority students remains a big challenge for institutions of higher education. Since a large majority of underrepresented students attend community colleges, engineering transfer programs at these community colleges can play an important role in addressing this challenge. However, for most community college engineering programs, developing strategies and programs to increase the number and diversity of students successfully pursuing careers in engineering is especially challenging due to limited expertise, shrinking resources, and continuing budget crises. This paper is a description of how a small engineering transfer program at a Hispanic-Serving community college in California developed effective partnerships with high schools, other institutions of higher education, and industry partners in order to create opportunities for underrepresented community college students to excel in engineering. Developed through these partnerships are programs for high school students, current community college students, and community college engineering faculty. Programs for high school students include a) the Summer Engineering Institute – a two-week residential summer camp for sophomore and junior high school students, and b) the STEM Institute – a three-week program for high school freshmen to explore STEM fields. Academic and support programs for college students include: a) Math Jam – amore »one-week intensive math placement test review and preparation program; b) a scholarship and mentoring program academically talented and financially needy STEM students; c) a two-week introduction to research program held during the winter break to prepare students for research internships; d) a ten-week summer research internship program; e) Physics Jam – an intensive program to prepare students for success in Physics; f) Embedded Peer Instruction Cohort – a modified Supplemental Instruction program for STEM courses; g) STEM Speaker Series – a weekly presentation by professionals talking about their career and educational paths. Programs for community college STEM faculty and transfer programs include: a) Summer Engineering Teaching Institute – a two-day teaching workshop for community college STEM faculty; b) Joint Engineering Program – a consortium of 28 community college engineering programs all over California to align curriculum, improve teaching effectiveness, improve the engineering transfer process, and strengthen community college engineering transfer programs; c) Creating Alternative Learning Strategies for Transfer Engineering Programs – a collaborative program that aims to increase access to engineering courses for community college students through online instruction and alternative classroom models; and d) California Lower-Division Engineering Articulation Workshop – to align the engineering curriculum. In addition to describing the development and implementation of these programs, the paper will also provide details on how they have contributed to increasing the interest, facilitating the entry, improving the retention and enhancing the success of underrepresented minority students in engineering, as well as contributing to the strengthening of the community college engineering education pipeline.« less