Bridging Our Students to Their Future
This NSF S-STEM project provides scholarships and support to a diverse cohort of 32 low income Biomedical, Chemical and Environmental Engineering (BCEE) students at the University of Cincinnati's College of Engineering and Applied Science (CEAS) who pursue either a research preparation or an entrepreneurship focus. The project aims to prepare a diverse groups of students to excel in a rapidly changing, technology-driven world as future faculty, engineers, and technology managers in educational institutions, existing companies, as well as leaders in starting new, technology-based companies.
This project offers BCEE NSF S-STEM scholars four tracks: 1) a MS-ACCEND degree program, in which students earn both BS and MS degrees in engineering; 2) a new Graduate School Preparation track to prepare students earning a BS degree to enter MS and PhD programs; 3) a MBA-ACCEND program, in which students earn both BS and MBA degrees as well as a Graduate Certificate in Entrepreneurship; and 4) a new Professional Preparation track in which students earn a BS degree and a Minor in Entrepreneurship to prepare them for entrepreneurial activities after graduation. The project implements four strategies to support and prepare its scholars: cohort building, career driven education, networking, and a defined pathway to graduate school. An E-Portfolio tool, previously developed at the CEAS, is used to track student performance and participation and to identify students who need early intervention. The tracks serve as models for programs seeking to incorporate research methods and discovery-based education to improve retention of students in dual-degree programs (BS-MS and BS-MBA), integrate research training into undergraduate engineering education, and streamline acquisition of the skills needed for technical and entrepreneurial innovation.