STEM Central

A Community of Practice for NSF STEM Projects

STEP for Underutilized Populations

The project is a regional initiative involving University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA) and Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) Community Colleges. It is building upon existing programs and establishing new interventions that create partnerships among educational institutions, research centers, and student diversity retention programs to increase the number of engineering and physical science degrees. The project focuses on underrepresented minorities (URM) among freshmen, community college transfers and upper-level established students. It will impact 960 students per year and will double the number of engineering and physical science BS degrees awarded to URM at both CSULA and UCLA from 190 to 380 within the five-year timeline. The driving vision is to connect these normally disconnected students through supplemental educational programs and services that actively involve current and potential students in supportive learning communities, department retention programs, and research centers. The project's main objectives are to increase: (1) the number of pathways available to underrepresented community college students in pursuit of engineering and physical science baccalaureate degrees, (2) the number of URM community college students who successfully transfer into UCLA and CSULA engineering and physical science programs, (3) the retention to graduation of URM engineering and physical science students at both UCLA and CSULA and its feeder community college partners, and (4) the number of URM engineering and physical science graduates at both UCLA and CSULA. It includes four initiatives: a community college recruitment and development program, a transfer bridge and core retention program, a freshmen bridge and retention program, and campus-wide learning communities.

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  • Status


  • Institution Type

    Doctoral Universities - Highest research activity

  • Disciplinary Focus

    All STEM

  • Full Name

    STEP for Underutilized Populations

  • Award Number


  • Official Award Organization

    University of California-Los Angeles

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