STEM Central

A Community of Practice for NSF STEM Projects

MemphiSTEP: A STEM Talent Expansion Program at the University of Memphis

Community building activities, including networking and learning communities have been most successful in engaging STEM students and fostering persistence to graduation in STEM degrees.

MemphiSTEP (MSTEP) is a five-year project designed to increase the number of majors and graduates across the STEM areas at the University of Memphis (U of M). The project implements a number of core strategies designed to increase persistence to graduation, including a summer Mathematics Bridge Bootcamp, research experiences for undergraduates, peer and faculty networking, grants for on-campus professional student organizations such as the Society of Women Engineers or the Math Cantor Sect club to help increase active membership, and STEM learning communities. Analyses of project impact for the first four years of the project (2008-09 through 2011-12) suggest MemphiSTEP is helping to foster increased STEM graduation numbers at the U of M. Both U of M STEM graduation and persistence (retention plus graduation in STEM) numbers have increased since the onset of the MemphiSTEP project in 2008. Further, of the STEM students enrolled at the U of M, 5.9% were impacted by the project in Year 1 compared to 16.5% in Year 4. Finally, comparative analyses indicated that students who participated in Years 1 through 4 MemphiSTEP activities were more likely to persist in STEM (be retained or graduate) than other, non-participating students enrolled in STEM at the U of M during Years 1 through 4.

Lead Author

  • Dr. Don Franceschetti

Institution Information

  • Name: University of Memphis
  • State: TN

Poster Information

  • ID: BP-009
  • Disciplinary Focus: All STEM
  • Award Number: 0756738
  • Project Year 5+