STEM Central

A Community of Practice for NSF STEM Projects

The Environmental Leadership Pathway Program – University of California, Berkeley "Education, Research and Support”

This poster highlights program strategies and elements that we feel were critical to our success in assisting low-income, underrepresented, and first-to-college community college students on their path to STEM degrees.

The Environmental Leadership Pathway (ELP) program is a one-year comprehensive academic enrichment fellowship program aimed at low income, first in the family, and/or underrepresented minority community college students who intend to transfer to competitive four year universities in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) majors. The goal of ELP is to improve transfer rates and graduation in STEM majors. The activities offered through ELP have three main components: an environmental science case studies course, a two month research internship, and a teaching and learning environmental science course. In addition, participants attend a weekend field camp, and receive advising and mentoring. The goal is to help them transfer, find campus-based sources of support, and cope with student life at a 4-year institution such as UC Berkeley. The program develops a strong peer support group throughout the year and across the years by creating a supportive cohort and connecting it to previous and future cohorts.

The program administered its sixth and final cohort of students in 2012. Between 2006 and 2012, 112 students completed the ELP Program. More than three-fourths of the students completing their transfer curriculum have already transferred to 4-year institutions. Almost all of the remaining 26 ELP students are in the process of submitting applications or are awaiting acceptance letters. Of the 86 students that transferred, 29% have since graduated, 23 in STEM majors, while the others continue working toward their degrees. The program has enrolled 89% low income students; 84% first generation college students; 59% female students; 34% Hispanic students; 11% African American students; and 2% Native American students.

Evaluation, participant feedback, and experience have led to significant changes in the ELP program over its 6-year run. This poster highlights program strategies and elements that we feel were critical to our success in assisting low-income, underrepresented, and first-to-college community college students on their path to STEM degrees. We rely on learning communities, cohort building, training in research methods and communicating science, internships, mentorship, transfer application workshops, and paying reasonable stipends to students for their support.

Lead Author

  • Lynn Huntsinger

Authors

Name Organization
Chris Lever University of California, Berkeley
Bernadette Chi Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California, Berkeley
Valeria Romero Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California, Berkeley

Institution Information

  • Name: University of California - Berkeley
  • State: CA

Poster Information

  • ID: UR-009
  • Disciplinary Focus: All STEM
  • Award Number: 0622598
  • Project Year 5+