This paper will describe the experience and details for the implementation and evaluation of the NSF sponsored KickStarter program, including results, reflections, benefits and drawbacks of the approach, and lessons learned. An overview of the KickStarter program will provide the initial context, which will be expanded by describing the characteristics of participating Community College Hispanic Serving Institutions (CC-HSIs). The process that provided the CC-HSIs with a blueprint to build, sustain, and augment a strong STEM foundation with innovations in STEM education to enable Latina/o (Latinx) STEM student success will be described along with iterative improvements. Next the evaluation and assessment approach will be discussed followed by the results and outcomes that the CC-HSIs attained by navigating the KickStarter Process. Observations, highlights, and lessons learned will be summarized in hopes of providing insights and practices that will benefit others. A summary of how the program implementation and its evaluation have supported the original program goals and objectives concludes the paper.
KickStarter, an NSF funded program, began Fall 2014, and has included two Cohorts of eleven CC-HSIs across five states. The five phase KickStarter Process has provided a blueprint to build, sustain, and augment a strong STEM foundation with innovations in STEM education to enable Latina/o (Latinx) STEM student success at CC-HSIs. All KickStarter interventions actively involved three levels - individual, team, and organizational - key to institutionalizing successful organizational change.
The KickStarter program's evaluation approach permeates the KickStarter Process, to produce a qualitative and quantitative data set that captures formative and summative results. KickStarter results to date include increasing the rate of CC-HSI NSF proposal awards while also gathering data and information to support eleven CC-HSIs with strengthening their capacity to increase recruitment and retention success rates among LatinX students. Participating in KickStarter has also resulted in colleges realigning institutional resources to support changes to their infrastructure that support their STEM Plans and increase capacity and sustainability. Other results include improved partnering with industry, and forming institutional alliances that improve competitiveness of proposals to NSF.
Observations, highlights and lessons learned discuss the benefits of forming a cross college STEM planning team endorsed by the college president, how and why proposal writing improved iteratively as colleges gained more experience, and the emergence of communities at the CC-HSIs that are increasing likelihood of sustainability.
KickStarter results and lessons learned to date indicate achievements toward the three proposed program objectives. The number of CC-HSIs who compete successfully as lead grantees on NSF projects has increased, CC-HSIs’ STEM infrastructure has been strengthened, and CC-HSIs are engaging with a broader range of partners.
Are you a researcher? Would you like to cite this paper?
Visit the ASEE document repository at
for more tools and easy citations.