Supported by a National Science Foundation STEP grant, our activities continue to establish a regional ecosystem for STEM success by targeting barriers to student achievement and creating opportunities for enhanced student engagement. Description of the activities and results obtained during the 4th year (2016-2017) of this grant are presented in this paper. Students participated in the following activities: 1) a targeted, STEM-focused, concurrent-enrollment program; 2) accelerated pathways to Calculus-preparedness; 3) engagement and guidelines in gatekeeper courses; 4) peer-led, mentoring and teaching, and activity 5), which is a recent supplement to our grant and consist of an entering-transfer-student bridge to Engineering or Computer Science. Activity 1 establishes a process for providing early-college students already participating in a summer Engineering and Computer Science camps the opportunity to participate in an Engineering-focused U-PREP program during the summer prior to their Junior and Senior years. Activity 2 is to accelerate the Calculus readiness of incoming students who do not test into Calculus. Many students who have high school credit for Pre-Calculus or even Calculus do not place into Calculus based on entrance or college readiness exams. This activity is being expanded in partnership with neighboring two-year colleges to provide accelerated pathways to Calculus. Activities 3 and 4 are to improve persistence and adequate progression for key “gatekeeper” courses, and provide students with specialized online and in-person mentoring and supplemental instruction that target common misconceptions and improve mastery of key fundamental concepts. The team and participating instructors developed metrics for early identification of at-risk students to better target interventions. As a supplement to the grant, Activity 5 targets students in transition from the regional two-year programs to the University’s Engineering and Computer Science four-year programs. It provides transfer students scholarships for tuition to attend sophomore-level Engineering or Computer Science courses they have yet to complete. In year 4 of this grant, a total of 499 students participated in our grant activities: 24 in Activity 1 during summer 2017, 44 in Activity 2 during summer and fall in 2017, and 431 in Activity 3 during fall 2016 and spring 2017. Also, activity 1, recruited and trained 22 mentors, tutors, and resident advisors, and activity 4 also had 10 mentors. Additionally, in activity 5, 11 students have been involved so far in the bridge to engineering program and additional efforts are being made to recruit more.
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