About Us


CPP INVESTS (NSF award #2122567) is led by a diverse team of faculty and staff from the Office of Academic Innovation, College of Science, College of Engineering, and the Office of Student Success, Equity, and Innovation. The team, along with the advisory board, is constituted with institutional capacity building and sustainability as a priority. All PIs, senior personnel, and advisory board members have the necessary disciplinary expertise and responsibilities within CPP to ensure that best-practices developed by CPP INVESTS can be institutionalized.

View Project Team and Advisory Board


Cal Poly Pomona Intentional Venture Engaging STEM Students (CPP INVESTS) is a National Science Foundation funded grant (Award #2122567) aimed at improving undergraduate Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education at Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI). CPP INVESTS aims to enhance the quality of undergraduate STEM education and the recruitment, retention, and graduation rates of STEM students at Cal Poly Pomona by expanding student pathways to continued STEM education and integration into the STEM workforce. INVESTS will embed experiential learning through selected High Impact Practices (HIPs) at critical transitions in the STEM student life cycle to engage students from their first year to post-graduation with particular attention to students from underrepresented and minoritized groups and those who are first-generation. In addition, CPP INVESTS will offer faculty professional development in the areas of inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility (IDEA).


The vision of CPP INVESTS is to expand student pathways to continued STEM education and integration into the STEM workforce through interventions during three critical transitions in the STEM student life cycle: secondary to post-secondary education, lower division to upper division STEM courses, and graduation to the STEM workforce. CPP INVESTS has three inter-related goals:

Goal 1

Embed HIPs at critical transition stages:

  • First-Year Experience (FYE)
    • Embed Signature Polytechnic Experiences (PolyX) in FYE
    • Embed project learning assistants in FYE
  • Second-year Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences (CUREs)
  •  Third- and fourth-year micro-internships

Goal 2

Implement four alternative learning records (ALRs) to enhance the transition of STEM students into the STEM workforce:

  • Leadership career development pathway – teamwork and communication ALRs.
  • Research career development pathway – information literacy and problem solving ALRs.

Goal 3

Provide STEM faculty professional development opportunities anchored in inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility through:

  • Identifying and coaching STEM department champions to support efforts in adopting culturally relevant pedagogies and developing more effective equity work initiatives.
  • Offering Faculty Institutes

Intellectual Merit

The intellectual merit of CPP INVESTS will include contributing to HSI STEM education research by addressing:

  1. The impact of peer mentoring experience of first time first year STEM students on their sense of belonging and academic self-efficacy utilizing self-efficacy theory; and
  2. The contribution of ALRs and micro-internships to the professional identity of STEM students over and above their STEM identity.

Academic research on two innovative components of the proposal is in the nascent stage. CPP INVESTS will make important contributions to STEM education research by examining the impact of ALRs and course-embedded micro-internships on STEM student success.

Broader Impact

The broader impacts of CPP INVESTS will include:

  1. 11,750 (39% of student population) STEM students by focusing interventions in the three STEM colleges of Engineering, Science, and Agriculture
  2. Students from underrepresented communities, first-generation, and low income;
  3. 200+ STEM faculty through faculty development opportunities and learning communities;
  4. Industry and community partners through the development of mutually beneficial micro-internships; and
  5. The CSU system, serving the greatest number of Hispanics and underserved STEM students in the nation, and other institutions that serve large populations of students from URMs and low-income communities through broad dissemination via publications, presentations at CSU-wide conferences, annual conferences focused on STEM education, and an INVESTS website hosted by CPP.