SUPPORTING THE TRANSITION TO NAU IN STEM: TRANSFER-GEMS
Alexander Ollerton1, Meghan Belmares1, Nena Bloom2, Brent Nelson1, Derek Sonderegger1, Jennifer Duis1, Pauline Entin1.
1Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ, 2Center for Science Teaching and Learning, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ.
For a number of reasons, many undergraduates decide to start school at a 2-year college while intending eventually to transfer to a 4-year institution. However, incoming freshmen are the primary target of 4-year institutions’ support, resources, and scholarships. In addition to these issues, incoming science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) transfer students may have difficulty transferring their credits from their previous institutions and may not enter with critical introductory coursework (e.g., calculus and general chemistry) completed, which slows down degree progression. In an effort to help with these issues, a learning community and NSF-funded scholarship (Transfer-GEMS) was developed to support transfer students in the College of Engineering, Forestry, and Natural Sciences (CEFNS) at Northern Arizona University. Additional efforts include outreach to community colleges and improvement of institutional websites to provide better information to transfer students. The intent of the Transfer-GEMS program is to increase retention rate and success while trying to decrease time to graduation. Voluntary survey data and tracking of academics (e.g., GPA) before and during program implementation will allow us to better understand the CEFNS transfer student experience and examine how the transfer student experience is impacted by the Transfer-GEMS program. (This material is based on work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number 1260138.)