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2018;362-367. doi: 10.1145/3159450.3159600.

The components of a successful S-STEM program: What works at Appalachian State University.

R Tashakkori, C Norris, M E Searcy

UIID-AD: 4878 DOI: 10.1145/3159450.3159600


In 1999, the National Science Foundation created the "Computer Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Scholarships" (CSEMS) program to provide funding for institutions to supply scholarships for academically talented and financially needy students to complete an associate, baccalaureate, or graduate degree in computer science, computer technology, engineering, engineering technology, or mathematics. In 2004, the program was renamed to "Scholarships for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics" (S-STEM) and modified to include students from physical and life sciences. Appalachian State University (ASU) has been the recipient of four CSEMS/S-STEM awards since 2001 and the scholarships have funded 161 students. Nearly all of these students have high levels of financial need and the majority are first generation college students. Overall, the program has retained 87 percent of these students; 12 percent of the scholars completed a bachelor's and then continued on to complete a master's degree or are in the process of doing so. The retention rate has increased as our program has improved. The retention rate of the current cohort of S-STEM students is 92.3 percent; 31 percent of the students in the current program completed a bachelor's degree and are pursuing or have completed a master's degree. These retention numbers are significantly higher than the 31 percent national average reported by the U.S. Department of Education. In addition, these retention numbers are higher than those found at our own institution for all Computer Science and Mathematics majors. This paper discusses the components of our successful program. © 2018 Association for Computing Machinery.

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