The primary objective of this project is to provide greater opportunities for up to 68 academically talented, financially disadvantaged students to pursue and complete an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree in Computer Electronics Technology orComputer and Information Science, and to improve their professional development and job placement opportunities within the technology employment sector. A secondary but equally important objective is to disseminate lessons learned from this project to broaden opportunities for student success and retention at other educational institutions that prepare students for employment in the technology sector.

A well conceived academic support structure provides individualized faculty advising and mentoring, encouragement, monitoring, and intervention to include tutoring in order to maximize student retention through degree completion. In addition, students enrolled in this program receive personal assistance in career advising and job placement services upon completion. Scholarship recipients may elect to participate in technology industry externship programs under the supervision of an industry partner who serves as a co-principal investigator for the project.

Intellectual Merit: ECPI College of Technology is a leader among technology colleges in the United States in graduating financially needy students from technology degree programs, and in successfully placing them into challenging and rewarding positions within the technology industry sector. This scholarship proposal builds upon an established, tested, and highly successful student engagement philosophy that includes recruiting, selection, advising, mentoring, and job placement thereby eliminating the need to develop a new untested academic support foundation.

Broader Impacts: Lessons learned about new strategies for student retention and success such as the use of an electronic journal to track student progress and motivate them to succeed, as well continuous monitoring and early intervention by their faculty advisor are being evaluated and the results disseminated by the PI to other institutions of higher education through publication and presentation of papers.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE)
Standard Grant (Standard)
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Lee L. Zia
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Ecpi University
Virginia Beach
United States
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