Oakwood College, founded in 1896, is a Historically Black, four year private liberal arts institution in Huntsville Alabama. Through the HBCU-UP program, Oakwood aims to implement activities to increase the enrollment and graduation rates of students, as well as strengthen the preparation and awareness of incoming students. An overall goal is to increase the number of students prepared by Oakwood for successful completion of STEM graduate programs or successful entry into the STEM workforce.

The activities designed to achieve these goals include enhanced recruitment; a summer bridge enrichment program; academic enrichment, mentoring and advising; graduate school planning and preparation; and a weekend academy tutorial program.

Enhanced recruitment will involve web and other electronic outreach, as well as more traditional flyers and attendance at college and graduation functions. In order to achieve this, there will be a person dedicated to recruitment for STEM majors. The summer bridge enrichment program will be aimed at high school seniors and will focus on preparation for success in mathematics, as well as an introduction to research activities. Outreach to middle and high school students will also take the form of a Weekend Academy Tutorial Program, especially aimed at students at three local schools with high drop out rates. Undergraduate Oakwood students majoring in STEM will have enhanced advising and mentoring, peer tutoring, undergraduate research experience, and other extra-curricular activities aimed at strengthening the quality of the undergraduate education experience. Enhanced advisement will utilize a tool that offer guidance for exploring how students think, learn and communicate.

The series of activities planned should positively impact the number of students entering Oakwood College prepared to major in STEM, and the number of students completing STEM majors prepared for graduate study or the STEM workforce.

Project Report

Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE The goal of the Oakwood University HBCU-UP program is to increase the number of well prepared competitively trained minority graduates who pursue graduate studies or enter the workforce in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines. Oakwood increased the number of students recruited into STEM disciplines and implemented a retention program designed to increase the term-to-term persistence rate of undergraduate STEM students as measured by the retention rate established by the University. These students are provided support in applying and gaining admittance into graduate programs in STEM areas. This program was named Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education through Research (STEMER). Intellectual merit of the program: The proposal builds on the unique strengths of the Oakwood Science and Mathematics departments, acquired through a previous HBCU-UP Implementation Project grant, to further enhance STEM education and research. In order to attain this goal Oakwood University recruits recent high school graduates into STEM programs; developed and implemented a Summer Bridge program for potential STEM scholars; designed and implement a STEM Scholars program and provide scholar recipients with research/study stipends; established a strong system for advising and mentoring STEM students; provided an enriched educational experience for students that includes working with faculty members on research projects, summer internships, conference attendance and presentations, GRE preparation, graduate school advising and assistance with the application process, and forged linkages with other HBCUs and institutions of higher learning that enable us to place our undergraduates in accredited graduate programs upon graduation. Broader impact resulting from the proposed activities: Our program has recruited and supported at least 90 minority students over the last five-years, beginning with recruitment in the freshman year. Over this time period, many Oakwood graduates have enrolled in strong, competitive graduate programs in mathematics, engineering, biological and chemical sciences by bridging stronger relationships with targeted graduate schools which they visit in their junior or senior year. A Weekend Academy which prepares minority 13 and 14 year old students for success in high school through a series of workshops and seminars in PSAT/SAT/ACT preparation, reading, math, English and academic skills has grown out of this program.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Human Resource Development (HRD)
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Claudia M. Rankins
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Oakwood College
United States
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