The National Science Foundation awarded ESU a $4 million dollar grant from the S-STEM (Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Program for the project entitled Clear Path to Bachelor’s Degree Completion Scholarships. This project is the culmination of more than three years of work by Drs. Jones-Wilson, Green, and Carducci who saw that too many students from community colleges were transferring to the university with numerous college credits but not enough of the right courses in their major to enable them to graduate on time.*
The overarching goal of Clear Path is to increase STEM student retention and timely baccalaureate degree completion among community college STEM transfers to ESU. Students who meet a certain criteria are selected and awarded scholarships to become Clear Path Scholars. To evaluate the effectiveness of the investigative team’s activities designed to achieve this goal, a standard data collection protocol is being established by Dr. Green to ensure uniformity in reporting student outcomes. When appropriate, a control group will be identified and followed. Individual tracking identification (i.e., student numbers) will be recorded with the data so that longitudinal student participation in activities, and student academic success data will all be stored together. All new measures will be created and validated through an Experiential Learning Activity in Test Construction, Revision, and Validation involving undergraduate students studying test construction who will be supervised by Dr. Green.
Possibly the most critical component of this project is the investigators’ exploration and evaluation of the role that specified developmental mechanisms, like academic grit and academic behavior, play in assuring students’ academic success. When examining variables associated with student success in STEM, the investigators have identified five high impact practices, supported by 14 cohort activities that will increase student retention and baccalaureate completion rates. These practices and activities build upon the applied psychology literature dedicated to increasing college student success and have been chosen based on several projects completed at the faculty and university levels. Through these high impact practices and cohort activities, ESU will increase student success. Moreover, through formal statistical evaluation, the investigators will further understand the interaction among the high impact practices, the cohort activities, the specified developmental mechanisms, and college level academic achievement.
Contact the Clear Path team with questions.
*This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number 1564634. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.