The Scholarships for Transfers to Engage and Excel in Mathematics (STEEM) is providing an innovative and comprehensive support program to significantly increase the graduation rate and success of community college students in Mathematics Majors at the University of California-Santa Barbara (UCSB). Community colleges serve a disproportionately high number of females, underrepresented minorities and non-traditional students, many of whom are financially independent and also first-generation college attendees. By targeting this population, STEEM will increase the persistence of high-potential, high-risk students; those who might not complete a degree without financial support. Approximately 10 new scholarships are awarded each year. Additionally, there are about a dozen yearly summer session stipend awards to help students complete the one critical course needed to transfer or to graduate.

To address academic needs of new transfer students and improve performance, a new adaptive transitional course is being developed to emphasize the tools of mathematical thinking needed for success in upper division and advanced mathematics courses. Students are actively engaged in the mathematics community through participation in "Meet a Professional Mathematician" monthly activity and quarterly STEEM organized social networking with peers, graduate students and faculty at informal gatherings. Additional academic and professional development is provided through peer led workshops, graduate student tutoring in upper division courses, faculty mentoring, teacher preparation activities and research endeavors. Early intervention and new web resources provide prospective and admitted transfer students crucial information needed for timely graduation and graduate school preparation. Most STEEM activities are open to all students, to extend program impact and facilitate integration of STEEM Scholars and transfer students into the greater mathematics, science and engineering community at UCSB.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE)
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Dawn Rickey
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University of California Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara
United States
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