Launching the urban STEM collaboratory


The Urban STEM Collaboratory is a tri-institution collaboration of University of Memphis (UofM), University of Colorado Denver (CU Denver), and Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). Each of the three partner universities is embedded in a large city, and serves similar student populations, i.e. students who tend to be first generation, minorities, and/or commuters. These universities encounter similar challenges in first-year retention and graduation rates, especially in the STEM disciplines. As they strive to improve the first year engineering and/or mathematics student experience at their campuses, they have engaged in different approaches; including Peer Led Team Learning (PLTL), formation of an Engineering Learning Community (ELC), and engaging students in outreach as STEM Ambassadors. Incorporating these individual strengths with new activities that will be shared across institutions, the team is currently embarking on a multi-year research project to uncover how students develop STEM identity in an urban context, identify interventions that support this development, and determine the impact that STEM identity has on student success. Through the support of an NSF S-STEM grant, the three universities are also providing scholarships to students engaged in the project. Here, we share the initial efforts of our tri-campus interaction and collaboration, our overarching goals, our systems of recruiting students, and our initial collection of preliminary data and findings for Year 1.

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ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings

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