STEM Central

A Community of Practice for NSF STEM Projects

TEST-UP: Talent Expansion in Science and Technology - An Urban Partnership

: Increased STEM AA degrees and transfer to four year institutions, increased retention and graduation rates for STEM transfer students, supplemental instruction yields higher grades and passing rates in gateway courses and closing of the achievement gap for URM's

TEST:UP is a collaborative program, initiated in fall 2008, among California State University Fullerton (CSUF), and Mt. San Antonio College (Mt. SAC) and Santa Ana College (SAC), two of CSUF’s feeder two-year community colleges. The three campuses, all HSIs, are located within 23 miles of each other and have diverse student bodies with enrollments exceeding 27,000 students. TEST:UP has aimed to increase by 5% annually the number of new STEM majors at the partner community colleges (20 to 40 students per college, for a total of 40 to 80 students annually) and to increase by 25 annually (50 across the two institutions) the number of students at those colleges who complete their associate degrees (or requirements) or who transfer to four-year institutions (including CSUF) in any STEM major. At CSUF, TEST:UP has been projected to increase by 40 students annually the number of transfer students who eventually earn STEM baccalaureate degrees. TEST:UP is meeting its goals for increasing declared STEM transfers from and STEM degrees awarded at the community colleges. While tracking transfers to four year institutions is very difficult, anecdotal feedback from community college transfers and monitoring of STEM transfers to CSUF from Mt. SAC and SAC indicate higher transfer rates to four year institutions. Overall, retention rates within majors for STEM transfers are up since the baseline year. STEM transfer graduation rates have clearly improved as measured by years to graduation for these populations at CSUF. Supplemental instruction (SI) at all three institutions has resulted in much improved passing rates and GPAs for participants. In addition, SI has greatly reduced the achievement gap between under-represented minorities (URM’s) and non-URM’s in gateway science and mathematics courses. Significant steps have been taken to initiate institutionalization of the SI programs, but this effort has been hampered by State budgets issues in California.

Lead Author

  • Mark S. Filowitz


Name Organization
Cheryl Carrera and Tammy Camacho Santa Ana College
Larry Redinger, Iraj Nejad and Oscar Flores Mt. San Antonio College
Martin Bonsangue California State University Fullerton
Rochelle Woods California State University Fullerton
Sean Walker California State University Fullerton
Cathy Fernandez-Weston California State University Fullerton

Institution Information

  • Name: California State University - Fullerton
  • State: CA

Poster Information

  • ID: TF-015
  • Disciplinary Focus: All STEM
  • Award Number: 0757113
  • Project Year 5+