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Technology Interventions Improve Regional STEM Retention Rates

NSF Award:

LSAMP Phase IV (2006-2011) Western Alliance to Expand Student Opportunities (WAESO)  (Arizona State University)

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The Western Alliance to Expand Student Opportunities (WAESO) Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) project, under the leadership of Arizona State University, has shown that the use of technology-based interventions--especially innovative dissemination of curriculum and research projects--can improve the retention of students matriculating in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) majors.

WAESO LSAMP comprises 30 colleges and universities in Arizona, Nevada, Utah and New Mexico and its STEM programs attract underrepresented minority students almost at parity to the percentage of students in postsecondary education. The senior graduation rate in STEM for this alliance has improved from 41.6 percent in 2005 to 60.5 percent in 2010.

Since 1991, WAESO has used a systemic approach to improving the quality and increasing the number of STEM B.S. degree recipients. With an inventory of over 4,917 problem sets and 870 research projects in the WAESO on-line catalog, students at remote institutions work cooperatively with faculty and peers in gate-keeping courses such as calculus, physics and chemistry. 

The LSAMP program at NSF was created to stimulate the production ofbaccalaureate degrees in STEM fields, particularly for populations historically underrepresented in these disciplines. To accomplish the goal of producing highly competitive students nationally, students must be able to withstand the rigors of STEM courses and curriculum early in their undergraduate experience.

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  • WASEO students
WASEO LSAMP students attend research conference.
WASEO

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