10. It is NOT about the Money Sunday Evening Student Videos: Watching the student testimonials during Sunday dinner clearly reminded everyone why all of you work so hard for so little financial reward. Monday morning Plenary: 1. Matthew Richey summarized what all of you told us about your S-STEM project ---New PIs worry about recruitment of scholars, the financial aid component and building cohorts. ---Experienced PIs have a slightly different perspective, they worry about financial resources to provide sustainability. However, both groups of PIs agree that they work very hard for little financial reward. 2. Joyce Evans, Lead Program Officer for S-STEM, acknowledged that NSF realizes “we know the PIs are not in it for the money”.
9. It is about NSF Annual and Final Reports 1. Annual reports summarize results for the most recent 12 months in clear, concise language. The annual report is a formative report. 2. The final report gives an overall perspective of the project: What worked, what got institutionalization, gives a 5-year synopsis of your program. The final report is a summative report. The ideal report is 10 ± 5 pages (maybe a few more if pictures NSF can use are included as an appendix) Do not include confidential information in the annual or final report (SS #, phone numbers, GPA, etc.)
8.Recruitment 1. The best recruiters are current S-STEM scholars. 2. A key is coordination with your financial aid office, the office of admissions, and the office of student support (Student Life) 3. Transfer student recruitment could benefit from faculty and Scholar visits to the campuses of the two-year schools 4. Recruiting students who are in high school is often more of a challenge than recruiting students already enrolled in your college. But, working with high schools can establish a sustainable relationship/pipeline. 5. S-STEM does NOT focus on underrepresented populations.
7. Retention 1. Use the same guidelines for “academic ability” and for “retention of scholarship” as used by your campus. 2. Students who leave the grant program can be replaced by existing students. 3. LLC are very effective in retaining students. 4. Mathematics preparation is an common concern in many STEM disciplines. 5. Targeted tutoring can be effective. 6. Strong and effective cohorts with strong faculty or peer- mentors can be very effective.
6. Building Cohorts can be the Foundation for your Program 1. Opening fall picnic (ice fishing, sailing) 2. Seminars with a topical focus 3. Shared research experiences 4. Establish a consistent meeting time/place for cohort activities 5. Don’t over schedule. 6. Let the students organize some of their extracurricular activities. 7. Cohorts can include Scholars and others in the same disciplines.
5.Living and/or Learning Communities, LLC. 1. Tutoring on location in the Living Community 2. Enrollment in common courses or all Scholars in one section of the same course can both be effective. 3. Multi-semester learning communities. 4. Two-year campuses and commuter schools have very different challenges than the residential campuses. 5. Uneven math preparation can be a challenge. 6. To be effective the Registrar’s Office needs to be your friend.
4. Mentoring 1. Training for both peer- and faculty-mentors. 2. Each first-year Scholar needs to have a Faculty Champion/Advisor. 3. Peer mentors can show incoming Scholars the services available and Scholars often prefer to talk to another student. 4. Hard for the students and the faculty to find the time to schedule all the meetings if you over-program your mentoring plan. 5. What is the backup plan if the mentor-mentee relationship is not working?
3. Evaluation is 250% worse than a four- letter word. I learned that in terms of evaluation, I would much rather be Alina Martinez (at right) describing Abt & Associates’ job of providing Program Assessment for NSF than
David Green from ICF International describing the S-STEM Database website. My summary: The data collected by the S-STEM website is used by Abt & Associates to provide assessment of NSF’s S-STEM Program from a height of 35,000 feet. It is not an assessment of your project. At the 35,000 foot level it does not matter that your recorded that a student worked 5 hours/week when it was actually 10 hours/week.
2. What will be the second most remembered aspect of this PI meeting?