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About DEEP

Developing Effective Engineering Pathways (DEEP) is a program that provides students with academic support and enrichment opportunities to create a successful educational plan leading to a career in engineering.

The DEEP program creates pathways from Silicon Valley schools through Foothill and De Anza Community Colleges, to the Jack Baskin School of Engineering at the University of California at Santa Cruz.

Program Description

The DEEP program is designed to address the changing needs of engineering students as they move through the community college system, transfer as juniors to UC Santa Cruz, and graduate from the Jack Baskin School of Engineering. Our approach is multi-faceted and tailored to meet the specific needs of students at the differing developmental stages of the educational process. The program links to existing high school programs and provides first-year students with information, courses, and resources that will support them in pursuing an engineering degree, while for second-year and transfer-ready students, the program increases tutorial services, academic advising, and research opportunities. Once at the university, program participants are members of a residential learning community of undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty, all of whom work together to ensure that engineering transfer students successfully transition into the university system and their chosen major. Key to this effort is the coordination between the Foothill-De Anza Community Colleges (FH/DA CC) faculty and that of UC Santa Cruz. Working groups, with membership from each institution, will design new courses and improve articulation and course alignment, while developing a regional community of engineering educators. See the Program Highlights Web page for a listing and description of the major elements of the DEEP program.

Program Highlights

  • An introductory STEM course at the community colleges and a UCSC course for credit at the community colleges.
  • Cyber Mentors (undergraduates, graduate students, faculty and engineers in the field) will provide online advising, mentoring and tutoring to extend the Learning Community of Engineers across a broad range of academic and applied settings.
  • Summer programs for community college transfer students including internships and academic experiences will be provided.
  • Specific sections of UCSC mathematics and computer science courses will be geared toward the needs of transfer students.
  • A cross-institution Virtual Faculty Lounge online will enhance faculty-to-faculty connections, develop relationships, improve articulation and support a community of learners in engineering in addition to regular face-to-face meetings.

Program Summary

Developing Effective Engineering Pathways creates pathways from Silicon Valley schools through Foothill and De Anza Community Colleges (FH/DA CC), to the University of California at Santa Cruz.

Our goals are to:

  1. Motivate and support students in order to increase the total number of community college students completing STEM courses and transferring to four-year programs;
  2. Create effective supports for underrepresented minority students (URM) completing engineering degrees.

To build these pathways, we will create linkages through collaborative coursework, specialized counseling, summer bridge activities, innovative online tutoring, Cyber Mentoring, business internships, and course-taking opportunities. We will develop strong faculty-to-faculty relationships across institutions through planning meetings, a Virtual Faculty Lounge for online discussions and a series of interactive projects and activities to engage faculty across campuses. UCSC will create a residential Learning Community of Engineers (LCE) and provide internships with businesses. Graduate students will work with undergraduates to develop technology exhibits at museums.

Our objectives are to achieve by year five the following annual outcomes:

  • Increase total FH/DA CC STEM enrollments by 1245 and URM enrollments in STEM by 151;
  • Increase the number of FH/DA CC students applying to UC by 107 and by 20 those enrolling in engineering at UCSC;
  • Increase by 208 FH/DA CC STEM students applying to UC system and by 50 those applying to UCSC;
  • Establish a baseline and increase by 100% the number of URM FH/DA CC students transferring to engineering programs at UCSC;
  • Increase by 56 per year the total number of URM completing a B.S. in engineering at UCSC;
  • Increase by 200 the total numbers of students completing their B.S. at UCSC.

The Intellectual Merit will be the contribution to the research literature on pathway program effects by component. We will study the effect of the learning community on success of transfer students, particularly Latino students. Our evaluation design will measure the impact of innovative use of technology and will evaluate the essential components of the learning community. Our project team is poised for success with longstanding relationships; deep knowledge of mathematics and engineering content, and pedagogy and experience in supporting URM students.

The Broader Impact from this will be ensured through dissemination of a replicable model for other community colleges and universities to use in partnerships that create effective pathways and establish learning communities for supporting and retaining underrepresented students in STEM majors and engineering. Both of these efforts will have broader impacts, in our region of thirteen community colleges, on California's commitment to increasing transfer rates, and in the national effort to increase STEM baccalaureate degrees as we publish and share our results.

Participating Institutions

  • The Collaborative for Higher Education

    The partners in this proposal were brought together by the Collaborative for Higher Education, (which includes for the purposes of this proposal, the University of California at Santa Cruz, Foothill College, De Anza College, and the NASA/AMES Research Center, together with the UCSC Educational Partnership Center (EPC)).

    The Collaborative for Higher Education was created as a statewide model for higher education institutions working together with the goal of seamless delivery of teaching and training in STEM disciplines. Formed by the presidents and chancellors of UC Santa Cruz, San Jose State University, and Foothill and De Anza Community Colleges, the Collaborative leverages its collective talent, resources, and intellectual leadership to address California’s changing demands for education, workforce development, real-world training opportunities and lifelong learning, including: professional development for STEM teachers; creation of a pipeline of STEM coursework between institutions; the energizing and engaging of Silicon Valley STEM students with a focus on underrepresented groups; motivation of disenfranchised adults; and the upgrading of technology skills.

  • The University of California at Santa Cruz

    The University of California at Santa Cruz has a current enrollment of over 14,000 students. Faculty at UCSC include eleven members of the National Academy of Sciences, 19 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and two members of the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine. One of the goals in the stated vision for UCSC says, "UCSC will attract, retain and advance a diverse student body, faculty, and staff from many different communities in the state, nation, and world."

    The University of California at Santa Cruz is a collegiate model for undergraduate students, similar to the system at England’s Oxford University. UCSC undergraduates are introduced to the university as members of a smaller community via their college affiliation. It is anticipated that most UCSC students participating in the proposed program will be based in Crown College, which is science-focused. We will create a smaller learning community within Crown College for engineering students. These students will be enrolled in courses offered by the Jack Baskin School of Engineering.

    As a leader in engineering research and instruction, UCSC’s Jack Baskin School of Engineering serves the needs of the greater Silicon Valley region and the state of California in the exciting new fields of information technology, biotechnology and nanotechnology. The faculty is engaged in building a leading School of Engineering for the 21st century and will increase its enrollment in these programs over the next decades at a rate of over 10% per year. Currently many community college applicants do not meet the high standards to enter the program. This past fall, of the 454 transfer students who applied, 150 were eligible and 62 were admitted.

    The School would like to increase the number of students applying and their rate of acceptance, particularly those from underrepresented populations. A starting point for the recruitment of many underrepresented students is often the community colleges, the most common pathway for these students. Consequently, the Baskin School of Engineering seeks to build a partnership with the Foothill-De Anza Community College District.

  • Foothill-De Anza Community College District

    The Foothill-De Anza Community College District is located in the heart of the Silicon Valley. As one of the largest community college districts in the United States, the district provides credit classes for 44,000 students per quarter (with 19,372 at Foothill College and 25,286 at De Anza College). In Fall 2002, 26.2% of the student body was Asian, 03.0% Black, 10.2% Hispanic and 29.5% White. (24.6% unrecorded). Approximately 32% of the students planned on transferring to a four-year college (22.8% after obtaining an AA/AS degree).

    The STEM enrollment and success rate for FY2002 for each college is shown in the table below. "Success Rate" is defined as students receiving a grade of "C" or higher. "Retention" refers to the number of students who complete the class.

    Table 1. STEM Enrollment and Success Rate for FY2002

    Both Foothill and De Anza Colleges have programs that recruit and assist students to successfully prepare for STEM careers and the transition to a STEM course of study in four-year colleges. The retention rate in STEM programs, as the chart above shows, is high. This proposal seeks to build on and augment these existing programs so that more students can be induced to pursue STEM careers and successfully transition to STEM at four-year colleges.

    High school links with large populations of underrepresented students

    We propose to increase the pool of underrepresented minority (URM) students at Foothill and De Anza Colleges. For this purpose the project will link to the third year of an ongoing high school program sponsored by the Collaborative for Higher Education under a $320,000 grant from the California Academic Partnership Program (CAPP). The CAPP program incorporates a special high school enrichment curriculum in mathematics and science as well as visits to the NASA/Ames Research Center and local industrial complexes during the junior year, an introductory engineering course and visits to the colleges in the senior year, counseling, and summer internships at NASA/Ames and neighboring high-tech firms. Four high schools will participate in this program in Fall 2003. Feeding directly into the proposed project, this CAPP-supported program will continue to be administered by the Collaborative for Higher Education’s Director of Education, Edward M. Landesman, who is also Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at UC Santa Cruz. Landesman will also provide expertise to the mathematics faculty and tutors involved in this program.