National Science Foundation (NSF) Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE)
Scholarships Advancing STEM Students
This program provides up to 120 scholarships for academically talented full-time STEM students who have a demonstrated financial need. The program allows students to successfully graduate and/or transfer to a 4-year institution in a STEM field. The program has a five-year duration, and is now beginning its third year. The objectives of the program are to: 1) retain at least 75% of the scholars for the duration of the grant; 2) have 50% of the scholars be underrepresented minorities (URMs) or women in STEM disciplines; 3) have the scholars be enrolled full-time and participate in intervention and advising programs as a cohort; and 4) have 75% of the scholars successfully graduate or transfer in the field of STEM.
The major activities of the program include attendance at meetings/conferences, seminars, community building, career counseling, and mentoring. In addition, recruitment and retention activities include: a high school summer bridge program, weekly cohort meetings focusing on college success and transfer strategies, and peer-tutoring. The project is designed as a two-year selective program for a cohort of students featuring nationally recognized strategies to promote STEM success. Low-income minority students and veterans are a focus for the STEM scholarship program.
Program results to date have met the desired objectives. Year 1 resulted in 90% retention, 71% URMs or women, 90% participation in intervention and advising, and 87% graduation/transfer. Student feedback for year 1 found favorable results for engagement and motivation, and access to study groups. While most students also reported favorable perceptions of student relationships, confidence, and access to mentors, approximately eight percent reported unfavorable perceptions in these areas for year 1.
Year 2 resulted in 95% retention, 50% URMs or women, 90% participation in interventions and advising, and 75% graduation/transfer. Student feedback for year 2 found favorable results for student relationships, engagement and motivation, access to study groups, and confidence. In addition, most students reported favorable perceptions of access to mentors, while eight percent reported unfavorable perceptions in this area. It is noted that student perceptions improved from year 1 to year 2, particularly in the student relationships, and confidence perceptions. Thus, the program’s formative assessments seem to be working.
The project team looks forward to building on the program’s early success, and seeks to engage and motivate talented students to graduate or transfer in STEM fields.
Are you a researcher? Would you like to cite this paper?
Visit the ASEE document repository at
for more tools and easy citations.