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Managing the Challenges of Recruiting and Supporting SSTEM Scholars at Three Partnering Community Colleges During a PandemicIn January 2020, an S-STEM grant (Grant #1930497) was awarded to East Carolina University (Greenville, NC) in partnership with three local community colleges. The community college partners were selected to participate in this program based upon their geographic proximity to the university and their offering an Associate’s in Engineering degree program. The purpose of this program was to support low-income students through scholarships and programming designed to help the community college students feel welcomed and part of the engineering program at the university before they transfer to the university. The project intended to recruit 80 total scholars in two cohorts of 40. Each cohort was to be comprised of 20 university students and 20 community college students. In-person recruiting events were planned in the service areas of each of the community colleges and in a 10-county region surrounding the university. The original plan for programming was to offer special events and speakers on each campus throughout the academic year so that all of the scholars could meet each other and learn more about the engineering profession. When events were held on the university campus, the goal was to showcase the laboratories and programs available once students complete their associate’s degreemore »
Recruiting and Retaining Low-Income Engineering Students Across Four Institutions During a Pandemic: Progress and Lessons Learned from a Track 3 S-STEM GrantIn 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 »