A successful 4-year academic scholarship program for upper division engineering and computer science non-transfer students and graduate students

Mary R. Anderson-Rowland

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper describes a successful four-year academic scholarship program for upper division engineering and computer science students funded by a National Science Foundation's S-STEM grant that ran from Fall 2007 through Spring 2011. Scholarships of $2,000 per semester were given to 72 upper division and graduate students. The upper division students were all nontransfer students, while the graduate students (after the first year) were both transfer students and non-transfer students who had graduated from an upper division S-STEM grant. The program was designed to especially encourage females and under-represented minority students to study engineering and computer science. Over 65% (47/72) of the students were either female or minority students. The students in this program entered in four ways: through a lower-division NSF S-STEM program, as a new upper division applicant to this program, as a qualified graduate student who had just graduated from this program as an undergraduate, and as a qualified graduate student who had just graduated from an NSF S-STEM program for transfer students. Of the 58 undergraduate students awarded scholarships, only one student left without an engineering degree, giving a retention rate of 98.3%. Only one of the graduate students in the program left without completing a Master's degree (student left after three semesters). Of the 58 students, 39 graduated with a BSE in engineering or a BS in computer science. Of these 39 graduated students, 22 (56%) have gone right on to graduate school full-time. Four of the 22 students are in PhD programs and eight of the other 18 students have already completed their Master's degree. Three additional students are completing their Master's degree part-time. Many of these students had not thought about graduate school until they became a part of this program. The programming changed every semester. The paper will describe the Academic Scholarship Class that goes with this program and the changes that have been made over the four years, including a paper assignment on career plans after graduation. The students were encouraged to do research and to take internship positions. Twenty-one of the 30 students in the program worked during Spring 2011, the last semester of this program. Challenges that still remain will be discussed including: convincing students that 18 hours is too large a load of classes if they are also working; convincing students that it is highly desirable for them to go to a Career Fair to practice interviews and to obtain an internship or job; convincing students that reading the material before class and doing "bullet point notes" is a good use of their time; and convincing students that right after the undergraduate degree is an excellent time to go to graduate school full-time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - 2012
Event119th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - San Antonio, TX, United States
Duration: Jun 10 2012Jun 13 2012

Other

Other119th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition
CountryUnited States
CitySan Antonio, TX
Period6/10/126/13/12

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

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    Anderson-Rowland, M. R. (2012). A successful 4-year academic scholarship program for upper division engineering and computer science non-transfer students and graduate students. In ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings