- Florida International University is an urban public university in Miami, Florida with over 53,000 students, the seventh largest university in the country. The university serves a large population of economically disadvantaged students as nearly 50% of all undergraduate students receive financial aid and nearly 60% of those recipients come from families with annual household incomes under $30,000. It is also a Hispanic-Serving Institution and awards the most baccalaureate and master's degrees to Hispanic students in the country.. The Physics Department alone has over 150 undergraduate majors and is one of the country's largest producers of Physics baccalaureate degrees awarded to Hispanic students. To ensure their timely and successful degree completion, this project will offer scholarships to undergraduate physics majors and will provide a unique opportunity to increase the success of historically underrepresented groups in physics, as well as to develop deeper understanding of practices that support these groups. The project will also impact the physics department as a whole, as recruitment activities will engage faculty teaching the introductory physics courses and the project will regularly report results to the faculty in the department. Broader dissemination of the results to the university community, as well as nationally via journal publications and conference presentations, will provide important insights into how to best support historically underrepresented groups in physics.This project will provide renewable scholarships of up to $10,000 and academic support to two cohorts of financially needy, academically talented students. The student cohorts will be integrated into an academic learning community that will provide the academic and social support necessary to foster timely undergraduate degree completion. Participants will enroll in a one credit seminar to prepare for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers and graduate school as well as receive mentoring from the project team. Complementing their academic program will be a series of other activities to further integrate them into the learning community. Recruitment into the program will be through multiple channels, including introductory physics courses at the university, physics and astronomy student groups, and direct email and web presence. Monitoring will continue throughout the project and an evaluation component will examine persistence through graduation, graduate school acceptance rates, and persistence proxies including Rovai's Sense of Community Scale.
- June 1, 2015 - May 31, 2021
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- Simpson, Caroline Principal Investigator