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Math / CSIT / CT / CAOT

STEM Pathways Program

LACC is partnering with its feeder high schools and the California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA), California State University, Fullerton (CSUF) to implement the STEM Pathways Program. The program will develop a robust STEM pipeline and transfer culture and achieve the following goals:

  1. Increase the number and percentage of Hispanic and other low-income students attaining certificates and degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM);
  2. Increase the number and percentage of Hispanic and other low-income students who complete a certificate and/or degree in STEM within two years; and
  3. Increase the number and percentage of Hispanic and other low-income students transferring to baccalaureate programs in STEM.

STEM Pathways has developed a student-centered program that addresses Absolute Priorities 1 and 2 and incorporates strategies that have been identified by research to increase success among underrepresented students. Strategies that meet the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) Moderate Evidence of Effectiveness standard (Competitive Preference Priority 2) are cited below.

  1. Math Preparation and Support – The program will provide an accelerated math pathway for STEM majors, math summer bootcamps and tutoring, as well as instruction at high schools to promote rapid progression and completion of college-level math and core STEM courses.
  2. Peer-Led Team Learning – The program will establish a STEM Learning Center to provide centralized resources to participants, including peer facilitated study groups, tutoring, and supplemental instruction in STEM gateway courses.
  3. STEM-Specific Individualized Counseling and Peer Mentoring – A dedicated STEM Counselor and Peer Mentors will develop and monitor individual education plans, provide transfer activities, and academic and nonacademic support to promote success. Studies have shown that students who receive peer advising coupled with professional counseling are more likely to persist and graduate.
  4. Faculty Mentoring – Faculty Mentors will provide discipline-specific guidance and STEM exposure activities (STEM Workshop/Speaker Series, field trips, professional networks).
  5. Early Undergraduate Research Experiences – Students will have access to course-based and summer research experiences. Research indicates that students who take part in early undergraduate research are more likely to transfer and attain degrees in STEM.
  6. STEM Fast Track to Baccalaureate – High school students will take prescribed college courses, participate in STEM exposure activities, and have access to undergraduate research opportunities. Studies have shown that dual enrollment significantly increases the likelihood of attaining college degrees.
Summer Undergraduate Research

Structure

The summer research program will follow Georgia Perimeter College’s 3 + 8 model that is based on the theory of cognitive apprenticeship.  In this model, students are provided with a significant amount of hands on instruction and support initially. Support is gradually decreased to provide students with more independence and responsibility in performing research.  The program will be structured as a part-time program (16 to 20 hours per week) to accommodate students who have work commitments or need to take a summer course to facilitate timely graduation or transfer.  The institute will consist of a 3-week and 8-week component.

Introduction to Research (3 weeks): Students will work in teams of four or five to complete a mini-research project with a STEM graduate student who will provide students with background literature and materials.  The graduate student will work daily with students to provide structured support and hands-on instruction.  Students will practice communication and presentation skills and learn instrumentation and research techniques. 

The second part will involve students joining existing research teams at a four-year institution (8 weeks): Students will work independently in with graduate students and other undergraduate students from the four-year university.  They will participate in weekly meetings with the research team and will be mentored by graduate students.  Students will provide written and oral presentations at the end of the third and six week components and will have an opportunity to attend an annual research conference.  Grant funds will be used to provide students with a stipend upon completion of the summer research institute.

CSUN – Numerical Methods

Introduction to Research (3 weeks). Students learn the standard schemes for numerical integration, differentiation, root finding, solving linear systems, and solving differential equations. They learn to implement these schemes in a computer programming language. Students learn how to communicate the results of their work in a professional setting by giving mock presentations to their peers and seek criticism and feedback on their mini poster presentation (digital format) as well as their technical communication skills.

The second part (8 weeks). Students join existing research teams who are working to solve problems modelled by differential equations numerically or mathematical problems that don’t admit analytic solutions. They are assigned sub-projects related the main research. At the end of the 6 weeks, students present their work as a draft presentation to their peers and use the suggestions and criticism to polish their work, correct errors and spend the final two weeks to prepare for their presentation for “STEM Day” at LACC.

Los Angeles City College | 855 N. Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles California 90029

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Phone: 323.953.4000

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