Initial Publication Date: March 10, 2017

Creating Academic Pathways in STEM (CAPS)

A Model Ecosystem for Supporting Two-Year Transfer Pilot

Project Website:

Shared Vision

Project Summary

Education pathways have grown increasingly complex in recent decades and today are characterized by a multitude of entry points, stops and starts, longer times to degrees, and changing career directions. As a result, the STEM "pipeline" metaphor has become outdated, and the current institutional structures are not well suited to meeting the educational needs of today's students. This project will create coordinated strategic pathways between 2-year colleges, national laboratories, industry, and the University of Colorado Boulder aimed at changing the educational landscape and facilitating opportunities for students who begin their higher education path at 2-year colleges. In doing so, these efforts will broaden participation among those matriculating in STEM majors who are ready to engage and contribute to a knowledgeable and skilled STEM workforce. This initiative will create links and strengthen pathways to establish a systematic, holistic and sustainable transfer ecosystem that will dramatically increase the number of Colorado 2-year college students that go on to pursue 4-year STEM degrees.

This project will establish a network (hub and spoke system) in STEM education that will serve as a model for regional STEM education collaboration. These efforts will create a cooperative and transformational infrastructure that streamlines STEM pathways for diverse students from 2- to 4-year colleges. By developing a student-centered infrastructure focused on lowering and eliminating barriers that inhibit 2-year college student transfer to 4-year colleges, this initiative will encourage talented 2-year college students interested in pursuing a STEM baccalaureate to successfully transfer, ultimately advancing the technical capacity of Colorado and beyond.

Project Materials

Principal Investigators

  • Sarah Miller, PI
  • Noah Finkelstein, Co-PI
  • Sean Shaheen, Co-PI
  • Anne-Barrie Hunter, Co-PI