STEP Program

Three Strategies to Improve STEM Graduation Rates

Cal Poly Pomona has been awarded a $1 million, five-year grant from the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Talent Expansion Program in order to fund the “Three Strategies to Improve STEM Graduation Rates” project. The project aims to increase graduation and retention rates for students in the STEM disciplines by addressing three main components:

STEP: Talent expansion at Cal Poly Pomona

Course Redevelopment – encourages student involvement in “gateway” courses (general chemistry, calculus, and physics) by including more interactive teaching and learning, and using real-world applications to feed their interest in science and engineering fields;

Enhanced First Year Experiences – promotes community, engages students in problem solving activities, stimulates interest in STEM careers, and Facilitates the learning of college survival skills (all strategies linked to increase retention in the critical first years of college); and

Apprenticeship/Professional Development Activities – gives students (primarily freshmen and sophomores) the opportunity to assist in research, assist laboratory instructors, work on community outreach projects, and act as peer-instructors (all activities found to be motivating while providing academic reinforcement)

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