According to the recent census Hispanics account for seventeen point four percent of the U.S. population yet only seven percent is represented in the stem workforce unfortunately many factors affect the success of underrepresented minority students factors such as socio-cultural influences academic experiences and institutional variables often act in tandem and create barriers to their success leading to poor retention lower graduation rates and eventually perpetuation of the achievement gap several years of data analysis shows that the achievement gap that begins in lower division math and science courses extends through the STEM degree the research conducted at CSUF integrates academic intervention and socio-cultural strategies necessary for the success of URM students in STEM Cal State University Fullerton is uniquely poised to serve as a role model for other Hispanic serving institutions with its nearly forty three point eight percent Hispanic student and fifty-seven point five percent female student population success in lower division math and science courses is critical to the success of minority students in stem redesigning our lower division math and science courses with emphasis on intellectually exciting course content with real-world examples as the key to promote STEM education productive research engagement with measurable outcomes leads to increased student perseverance our students have presented papers in conferences and published papers in scientific journals we provide peer mentoring and field trip experiences to promote aspiration relief from anxiety and the sense of belonging we facilitate coping strategies by organizing stress relief workshops we also provide real-world experiences through internships with academic intervention faculty is an integral part with faculty development workshops to make contextual learning and culturally inclusive instruction for stem success we combine the socio-cultural strategies and academic strategies together we promote build and rapport between students and faculty through informal communication accessibility of faculty role models provides moral educational and cultural support and helps maintain their enthusiasm confidence and retention we bring families on board to create a long-term a sustainable support mechanism this enables us to shape the attitude of parents that is critical in keeping students motivated to pursue STEM education both socio-cultural and academic intervention strategies align with a 2025 CSU system graduation initiative to increase graduation rates once developed these strategies are self sustainable and increased graduation rates among minority students for generations to come believe that things are doable excitement and enthusiasm is all it takes to create a resilient and well informed diverse student community driven towards success in STEM education.
The first three projects for the College of Engineering & Computer Science’s Titans of Transformation: Big Ideas initiative are underway, delivering enhanced research and service-learning opportunities for our students. Led by faculty champions committed to a deeper engagement with our communities, these project teams have high aspirations to address fundamental societal challenges that affect the health, stability, and quality of life of people in our communities through transformative collaboration and innovation.
The College of Engineering & Computer Science’s fully online graduate programs continued to climb in the rankings in this year’s U.S. News & World Report Best Online Programs list, moving to No. 25 in the nation as of January 2021, up from No. 29 in 2020.