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Collaborative Research: HSI Implementation and Evaluation Project: Quantum Que: Institutional Support for Transfer Students' Success in Quantum, Information Science and Engineering

Sponsored by National Science Foundation

$733.4K Funding
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With support from the Improving Undergraduate STEM Education: Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI Program), this Track 2 project will develop an interdisciplinary field of national importance, Quantum Information Science, by supporting the transfer of community college students into quantum information science related majors including Electrical and Computer Engineering, Optical Sciences and Engineering, Computer Science, and Physics. The project will employ evidence-based practices to engage, guide, and support community college students to explore quantum information science as a career choice. These high-impact practices will support a diverse group of students as they pursue quantum information science and will improve student outcomes and inclusivity for this critical, yet nascent workforce. This work will help to inform others on the transfer experiences of community college students as they transition to four-year colleges. The project will generate new knowledge about (1) transfer process gaps and bottlenecks, (2) administrator attitudes and perceptions of the transfer process across institutions, and (3) the degree to which students? status as underrepresented and/or low-income correlates with their negative perceptions of the transfer process. This project will generate knowledge on institutional transfer readiness, increase community college student interest in quantum information science, and facilitate student transfers into a four-year university through summer research experiences, faculty and peer mentoring, and cross-institutional advising mapping. This project leverages the NSF Engineering Research Center for Quantum Networks and aims to encourage community college students? transfer into quantum-related 4-year STEM majors. Community college students will participate in summer research experiences at the Center for Quantum Networks universities as well as a variety of development and technical workshops. This will be augmented with peer and faculty mentoring and a peer-led retreat. Academic advisors from the community college and the university will convene to develop a crosswalk of program requirements. The project team will perform a gap analysis of existing 4-year university support programs and will survey administrators and students to gather their perceptions of the transfer process. This project leverages institutional coordination to ensure that successful programming and initiatives occur systematically across campuses and within STEM disciplines. Dissemination plans include publication of results in the INCLUDES network, through the Center?s website and the affiliated Quantum Resource Hub, whose audience includes industry and academic researchers, educators, and students. The HSI Program aims to enhance undergraduate STEM education, broaden participation in STEM, and build capacity at HSIs. Achieving these aims, given the diverse nature and context of the HSIs, requires innovative approaches that incentivize institutional and community transformation and promote fundamental research (i) on engaged student learning, (ii) about what it takes to diversify and increase participation in STEM effectively, and (iii) that improves our understanding of how to build institutional capacity at HSIs are supported by this program. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.