The overall goal of this Radford University project is to produce more highly skilled graduates in Computer Science and Mathematics. The project's approach is one of aggressive tracking and continuous financial, academic, and social support throughout the crucial freshman and sophomore years. At least 30 scholarships are awarded to freshmen and sophomores in each of the four years of the project.
Program objectives are (1) to recruit and select students, especially nontraditional students, to pursue careers in CSEM fields; (2) to support participants with intensive academic advising and with social activities; and (3) to obtain internships and other experiential learning positions for all participants. Recruitment of academically strong students, especially women and minority students is in cooperation with the university's Admissions Office and through the Office of Multicultural Services.
Students are supported by individual attention from project staff as well as a well-developed institutional support system. This includes constant monitoring; frequent, individualized advising; academic support (through tutoring and other services); social support (through clubs and social events related to CSEM disciplines); internships; and career counseling (in individual sessions with the university's Career Services Center). Participants meet monthly with project staff, and are required to seek tutoring or other help as appropriate. Project staff meets regularly to discuss participants' progress and needs.
Project evaluation is based on student progress, and on student opinion as revealed in annual structured interviews. Evaluations are used to modify the project to provide the best possible support for students.