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Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:Sistema Universitario Ana G. Mendez, Incorporado
  • Mariel Perez-Velez
  • (787) 257-7373
  • Marielis E Rivera-Ruiz
Award Date:01/13/2020
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 649,999
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 649,999
  • FY 2020=$649,999
Start Date:01/15/2020
End Date:12/31/2024
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.076
Primary Program Source:045176 H-1B FUND, EHR, NSF
Award Title or Description:Improving Professional and Scientific Competencies of Undergraduate Biological Sciences Students to Increase Graduation and Career Readiness
Federal Award ID Number:1930406
DUNS ID:826444176
Parent DUNS ID:090456609
Program:S-STEM-Schlr Sci Tech Eng&Math
Program Officer:
  • John Jackman
  • (703) 292-4816

Awardee Location

Street:Po Box 2010
Awardee Cong. District:00

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:Sistema Universitario Ana G. Mendez, Incorporado
Cong. District:00

Abstract at Time of Award

This project will contribute to the national need for well-educated scientists, mathematicians, engineers, and technicians. It will do so by supporting the retention and graduation of students at the Universidad Ana G. Mendez - Carolina Campus, a Hispanic Serving Institution in Puerto Rico. Over five years, the project will provide four-year scholarships to twelve students who will pursue Bachelor of Science degrees in Biology, Biotechnology, and Microbiology. This project intends to increase the retention and graduation of the Scholars by developing a learning community to support student academic performance. In addition, it focuses on helping the Scholars develop the professional, research, and other competencies they need to succeed in college and in STEM careers. The project will analyze which strategies and psychosocial factors are most successful at supporting students in STEM fields. Given that nearly all students enrolled in the College are Hispanic, this project has the potential to broaden participation in the biological sciences workforce. The overall goal of this project is to increase STEM degree completion of low-income, high-achieving undergraduates with demonstrated financial need. This project will provide a cohort experience based on the Community of Inquiry theoretical model. The experience will include student-centered academic and non-academic support embedded in a multi-tiered system, together with professional development and experiential learning activities. It is expected that the cohort experience will increase the scholars’ competitiveness and readiness for STEM careers. In addition, this project will generate new knowledge about effective practices that lead to STEM persistence in low-income Hispanic students. A collective case study and a phenomenological study will be conducted to answer the following research questions: (1) What psychosocial factors promote the development of an academic self-concept (science identity) in low-income Hispanic STEM students? (2) To what extent does science identity predict persistence of low-income Hispanic students in STEM career pathways? (3) What elements of the scholarship experience contribute to the persistence of low-income Hispanic students in STEM career pathways? Project evaluation will include both formative and summative assessments using a mixed-methods approach that includes quantitative and qualitative techniques. The results of the study will be shared with the College community through a seminar series and newsletter. Broader dissemination to the biological sciences community will occur through presentations in professional conferences such as the American Society of Microbiology Conference for Undergraduate Educators and publications in peer-reviewed STEM education journals. This project is funded by NSF's Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics program, which seeks to increase the number of low-income academically talented students with demonstrated financial need who earn degrees in STEM fields. It also aims to improve the education of future STEM workers, and to generate knowledge about academic success, retention, transfer, graduation, and academic/career pathways of low-income students. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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