North Star STEM Alliance

North Star STEM Alliance

Our mission is to double the number of Minnesota's underrepresented minorities receiving bachelor's degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

SERC and North Star

To meet this challenge, Louis Stokes Alliances across the nation offer programs and opportunities aimed at helping students succeed academically by inviting them and partners at their home institutions to be members of the STEM community. The Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College is partnering with the North Star STEM Alliance to increase understanding and programming to foster successful transfer between two-year and four -year institutions across the North Star Alliance. You can learn more about the other programs and opportunities of the North Star STEM Alliance at their website hosted at the University of Minnesota.

The North Star STEM Alliance partnership has set a goal in its current funding cycle to focus on improving retention among minority STEM students who have transferred to universities to complete their bachelor's degree:

Goal 2: Deepen Alliance collaborations to improve students' pathways through all stages of transfer from community colleges to degrees at 4-year institutions.

Specifically we will work toward these objectives:

  • Objective 2a) Increase twofold the proportion of transfer students that are retained in STEM after three years' enrollment in Alliance 4-year institutions.
  • Objective 2b) As an Alliance, identify performance metrics and institutional practices within and across colleges and universities that inform and influence the success of transfer students.
  • Objective 2c) Engage students and administrators at community colleges beyond the Alliance to build stronger STEM transfer pathways to Alliance institutions.

The Alliance will intensify efforts to improve retention of URM-STEM transfer students. With the Fall 2012 entry cohort as a baseline, the Alliance will strive to increase twofold the proportion of transfer students who remain in progress or graduate in STEM after three years at Alliance institutions (from 30 – 60% retained in STEM) by the time the Fall 2019 cohort in 2022.

To reach the retention goals for the Fall 2019 cohort of new transfers, the steering committee will form a transfer stakeholder group to delve more deeply into common concerns about academic success of transfer students.

The group will meet via a series of workshops facilitated by Carleton's Science Education Resource Center (SERC). These workshops will explore retention issues in both community colleges and 4-year institutions, try new approaches to tracking transfer and retention programming, and share results. Workshops will engage site coordinators plus other stakeholders from 4-year institutions, such as faculty, transfer admissions counselors, transfer program coordinators, researchers, academic advisors, institutional researchers, and other diversity or retention specialists. The first meeting is set for Monday, January 8th from 1:30 - 4:30.

Expected outcomes are refined strategies and metrics on preparing students for transfer, retaining new transfer students, and shared knowledge of STEM pathways and transfer processes across Alliance institutions. Representatives of the Alliance steering committee will share the outcomes of the workshop series with the Alliance Governing Board and collaborate with the Minnesota State Transfer Pathways Teams currently developing statewide articulation agreements to help define optimal STEM pathways across institutions and communications to students that improve the transfer experience.


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