The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded Riverside City College a nearly $1.5 million grant in order to develop and analyze the impact of six interventions for students who declared a STEM major as part of the College’s Promise Program.
The Promise Program provided students free tuition for their first year of education. The program is now in its second year.
The grant, Building Capacity: Guiding Critical Transitions to the Baccalaureate STEM en familia, seeks to increase retention within STEM programs at RCC as well as increase the transfer rates to baccalaureate STEM degrees at four-year institutions, such as California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB) and the University of California, Riverside (UCR).
Currently, the College uses such interventions as the six-week Summer Bridge program which allows students to develop knowledge and confidence by offering college prep workshops, team-building opportunities, and individualized tutoring sessions. The College also uses home courses, college and career workshops, research experiences, near-peer mentoring, and cross-enrollment courses in order to help students in their education progression.
“STEM en familia will clarify and support the transitions from high school to RCC and RCC to four-year institutions,” Virginia White, professor, Biology, said. “This grant enables students to get a jump start on their college classes, establishes a cohesive support system during their time at RCC, and facilitates a successful transfer to their four-year institution.”
The $1,499,506 grant will also provide students the opportunity to conduct summer research projects at CSUSB and UCR.
Through interventions and partnerships, this project seeks to increase undergraduate retention, enrollment, and graduation and transfer rates in STEM degree programs. STEM en familia students will be guided from entry into the College through transfer to a four-year institution. Faculty from the University of California, Irvine will conduct educational research related to the project.
“Each step of the way, we will be here to support students as they navigate toward their goals,” White said. “The goal of STEM en familia, and the origin of the proposal’s name, is to leverage family as a key support for our STEM students. The program integrates the students’ families in their educational experiences and creates a larger academic family to support both students and their parents.”