Chatham University includes an undergraduate college for women, and the goal of this S-STEM project is to prepare female scholars for careers in biology, chemistry, and biochemistry. Specifically, this project recruits and retains academically talented students and facilitates a successful transition to STEM careers or graduate school upon graduation.
The intellectual merit of this plan stems from the cohort experience offered to the scholars in order to strengthen ties to like-minded colleagues and facilitate dynamic in- and out-of-class programming. This cohort experience enhances their bond to the University and the disciplines. This S-STEM project works at retaining students in STEM by providing them with realistic goals and plans for their futures in STEM careers. Additionally, a focus on acquiring skills in science-based information technology is provided throughout the students' academic tenure.
The broader impacts result not only via reducing the financial burden of those receiving the scholarships directly but also via investigating the cohort approach as it impacts students' career paths. This project has the potential to result in important curricular and programmatic changes both at Chatham in the Science Department and in the science education community more broadly. Plans are in place to disseminate findings through publications and presentations at conferences.