Collaborative Research: Motivated Engineering Transfers - STEM Talent Expansion Program (METSTEP)

  • Rodriguez, Armando (CoI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


Collaborative Research: Motivated Engineering Transfers - STEM Talent Expansion Program (METSTEP) Collaborative Research: Motivated Engineering Transfers - STEM Talent Expansion Program (METSTEP) The Motivated Engineering Transfers STEM Talent Expansion Program (METSTEP) is a partnership between Arizona State Universitys (ASUs) Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering (lead institution) and non-metropolitan Arizona Community Colleges (CCs) designed to significantly increase the number of CC transfer students (especially women and underrepresented minority students) that graduate with engineering and computer science hereafter referred to as engineering BS/E and graduate degrees. The targeted students are enrolled in pre-calculus/calculus, engineering, biology, chemistry, physics, and geology courses at Arizonas CCs and their local high school (HSs). The partner CCs (Arizona Western, Central Arizona, Cochise, Eastern Arizona, and Mohave) have been selected because (1) they possess a significant pool of untapped engineering talent (a high percentage of women and underrepresented minorities) and (2) they have enthusiastically embraced our vision to reach out to students to attract them to exciting engineering careers. This project develops a supply-chain of high quality engineering students by 1) supporting the CCs HS student outreach activities, 2) supporting the CC engineering courses by providing materials, tutoring, local engineering speakers, and tuition scholarships, 3) conducting Be an Engineer events on the CC campuses to CC students and local HS students and their parents, 4) following up with classes/workshops/seminars - exploiting time-tested techniques, assignments, as well as one-on-one and group mentoring - for all participants either via live broadcast or videotape, 5) providing an engaged community of mentors (with extensive experience and commitment) for all students, as well as remote tutoring and mentoring via phone, email, or Blackboard, 6) hosting an Orientation at ASU specifically for engineering transfer students, 7) managing a Fulton Center where engineering transfer students and their CC cohorts can study together and get the support needed to survive, and 8) working with (especially new) transfer students for success and learning through a (time-tested) career shaping academic scholarship workshop program. Intellectual Merit: This proposed activity is important to help stem the decrease of U.S. and permanent resident students earning engineering degrees. This project will determine the best practices of working with non-metropolitan CCs across Arizona, as well as the impact of leveraging with CCs in encouraging high school students (and their parents) to consider engineering as a career. Forty-five $1,000 academic year scholarships, as well as 100 tuition scholarships, will be available yearly to CC students with unmet financial need to encourage studying for an engineering career. In addition, 10-15 $4,000 scholarships to transfer engineering students at ASU with unmet financial need and 30 $500 scholarships will be available to transfer students independent of financial need to motivate them to attend workshops and to increase their retention. This project builds on a solid track record. The ASU PI and co-PI have worked together on several projects and between them have successfully directed over $4.1M in projects to retain and graduate engineering students, especially women and underrepresented minority students. The Fulton School provides a METSTEP Center, staffed by successful engineering transfer students, that provides mentoring and tutoring programs and workshops for CC and transfer students. Broader Impact: In addition to CC students across Arizona, this effort is expected to impact university- CC interactions across the nation. The project will identify the most effective ways to encourage CC students, including women and minority students, in engineering and transitioning them to a four-year engineering program; and to what extent university-CC-high school-parents collaborations impact these interventions when some of the intervention nee
Effective start/end date9/1/091/31/17


  • National Science Foundation (NSF): $2,030,000.00


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