STEM Central

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New Mexico State University Science Technology Engineering and Mathmatics Talent Expansion Program (STEP)

DUE-0652968 R.B. Jacquez New Mexico State University Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Talent Expansion Program (STEP)

Program components of the New Mexico State University STEP grant include faculty-coordinated Integrated Learning Communities (ILCs), peer mentoring, a “Mathematics Boot Camp” to support students’ performance on the NMSU Mathematics Placement Exam, and pre-transfer support to SMET community college students. Leveraged support of the NSF-funded Louis Stokes New Mexico Alliance for Minority Participation Program (New Mexico AMP) ensures that all students enjoy a broad range of interventions and resources.

Integrated Learning Communities: Integrated Learning Communities (ILCs) are designed to provide intrusive mentoring support, personalized attention, and integrated instruction through a clustering of five courses in the fall semester and three in the spring semester. The ILC is specifically designed to: • Bridge students through their early math sequence and on to the calculus level by incorporating engineering concepts into the pre-calculus mathematics courses. • Emphasize important topics such as engineering design process and professional ethics. • Provide academic planning and support. • Provide supplemental instruction in chemistry – courses that traditionally block the success of these students. • Provide social integration with peers and the early exposure to the culture and study of engineering.

Peer Mentoring: Peer Mentors work with ILC students, attending one ILC class with them and convening small group meetings outside of class. Mentors assist students in understanding course content, facilitate group work on engineering projects, provide math review sessions, and make referrals to various campus services, as appropriate. All Peer Mentors are undergraduate engineering students, and 50% of the Mentors have been previous ILC students themselves.

Mathematics Boot Camp: One-week refresher courses have been held in Las Cruces (southern region) and Albuquerque (northern region) to ensure that students are placed in the appropriate mathematics courses at NMSU. Boot Camp courses are offered at the pre-algebra and algebra levels.

Pre-Transfer Support: Community College Transfer Workshops are provided as part of an annual Student Research Conference hosted by the New Mexico AMP. The workshops address two critical needs: 1) assistance in understanding and selecting conference sessions and activities, and 2) an orientation to using established state-wide articulation agreements to most efficiently plan one’s transfer from the community college to the university. A professional development stipend recognizes and values the time and effort that conference attendance requires as well as to provide much needed financial support to participating students.

In addition to the Transfer Workshops, the STEP program also supports the Summer Community College Opportunity for Research Experience (SCCORE). The goal of SCCORE is to develop the talent of community college students by providing opportunities to conduct research with university STEM faculty and to heighten students’ awareness about campus resources and university life. The program provides research opportunities, fosters student success, and assists students in the transition to New Mexico baccalaureate-granting institutions. Students outside the local area reside on campus, and all students attend a credit-bearing course and receive professional development training.

Lead Author

  • Ricardo B. Jacquez

Institution Information

  • Name: New Mexico State University
  • State: NM

Poster Information

  • ID: LC-020
  • Disciplinary Focus: Engineering
  • Award Number: 0652968
  • Project Year 5+