On Tuesday, June 26th, Skyline College STEM Retention Specialist Jenny Le and Engineering Professor Nicholas Langhoff presented a paper on the Skyline College Engineering and Technology Scholars (ETS) learning community at the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) national conference in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The paper details the development, implementation and initial outcomes of ETS, a cohort-based program to strengthen retention of underrepresented community college engineering students. Since the program was piloted in Fall 2016, ETS has proved to be a cost-effective model of a guided pathway that increases retention, provides additional enrichment to students, increases accessibility to scholarships and internships, and bolsters student success in an accelerated pathway. With the model, pass rates for ETS students in entry-level math courses have significantly increased above traditional levels, showing enhanced persistence in a historically challenging pathway. To review data and outcomes presented, link to the full paper here.

Development of the ETS program started as grant-funded project supported by the Silicon Valley Engineering Tech Pathways (SVETP) and Growth Sector with the aim to diversify the STEM workforce. The project has now evolved into a strong community of peer and faculty support that integrates students, faculty, and staff into a community of academic and social support early on and throughout their transfer journey.

Members of the audience showed enthusiasm for and interest in the ETS learning community and have connected with the Skyline College team to learn more about how they can develop similar programs on their own campuses.

The Skyline College team was joined at the conference by other community college engineering faculty friends from around California, including SMCCD Engineering Professor Dr. Amelito Enriquez (Cañada College).

Article by Jenny Le and Nick Langhoff

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