UCF STEP Pathways to STEM: From Promise to Prominence
This project is implementing a coordinated recruitment and retention effort targeting students who are declared STEM majors, yet present low mathematics SAT scores. Institutional data indicate that this group exhibits particularly high attrition from their intended STEM programs. Principal activities include the development of learning communities consisting of students taking designated STEM courses in cohorts through block scheduling, and interacting through the on-campus STEP tutoring center. Furthermore, the project is integrating educational activities, improved advising, faculty development opportunities, and diversity efforts into the curriculum so as to improve student learning and increase retention rates. New courses emphasize applications of pre-calculus and calculus and provide an introduction to research in the sciences and engineering. Industrial affiliates are providing internship and career opportunities in various STEM fields.