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  1. In January 2020 East Carolina University (ECU) in partnership with Lenoir Community College (LCC), Pitt Community College (PCC), and Wayne Community College (WCC) was awarded an S-STEM Track 3 Grant (Grant number: 1930497). The purpose of this grant was to support low-income students at each partner institution, to research best practices in recruiting and retaining low-income students at both universities and community colleges, and to research how such programs influence the transfer outcomes from two-year to four-year schools. This grant provides scholarship support for two cohorts of students, one starting their engineering studies in Fall 2020 and the other starting their engineering studies in Fall 2021. Each cohort was to be comprised of 40 students including 20 students at ECU and 20 students divided among the three partnering community colleges. In addition to supporting student scholarships, this grant supported the establishment of new student support mechanisms and enhancement of existing support systems on each campus. This project involved the creation of a faculty mentoring program, designing a summer bridge program, establishing a textbook lending library, and enhancing activities for students in a living-learning community, expansion of university tutoring initiatives to allow access for community college students, and promoting a newmore »peer mentoring initiative. The program emphasizes career opportunities including promoting on-campus career fairs, promoting internship and co-op opportunities, and bringing in guest speakers from various industry partners. A goal of the program was to allow community college students to build relationships with university students and faculty so they can more easily assimilate into the student body at the university upon transfer. This paper presents the challenges presented to the project in the first year and the pivoting that occurred due the pandemic. Data is presented regarding recruitment of scholars in both cohorts and retention of scholars from year 1 to year 2.« less