Recruiting and Retaining Underrepresented Students in STEM

• Strategies for recruiting and retaining
underrepresented students
• Mesa and retention of underrepresented
• Strategies for tracking diverse populations
• Question-Answer/Discussion
• Concluding remarks
Recruiting and Retaining
Underrepresented Students in
Wendy A. Bohrson
Director, CWU STEP
STEP Supervisor: Jessica Nye
STEP faculty and staff: Michael Braunstein, Lucinda Carnell, Anthony
Diaz, Lisa Ely, Rachel Foss, Eric Foss, Maria Godinez, Martha Kurtz,
Michael Jackson, Greg Lyman, Aaron Mayfield, Andy Piacsek
Goal is recruitment and retention of freshmen, sophomores and
transfer students, with an emphasis on traditionally
underrepresented students in STEM programs at Central
Washington University
• STEP STEM cohorts: typically ~80-85% underrepresented
(first generation, low income, minority, female,
• 2007-2013: Doubled the number of students who apply to
STEP Program.
• STEP students: Higher GPAs and declare majors at a much
higher rate than control group.
• 2007-2012: Increase in proportion of minorities graduating
with STEM degrees from ~13 to 18%
• 2012: STEP underrepresented student retention rate is 92%
compared to 79% at CWU in general.
Central Washington University STEP
1) Tailored program of recruitment for STEP, STEM,
College of Sciences in collaboration with CWU Office
of Admissions
• Specialized Recruiter
• STEM graduate of CWU, bilingual, Hispanic and from
one of the areas of intense recruiting
• Visits high schools multiple times. Goal is to develop
lasting relationships with teachers, counselors....
• Initially supported by STEP grant; transitioned to full
time university funded position last year
• Also offer organized visits to CWU to meet faculty and
students, visit departments
Central Washington University STEP
2) Tailored program of retention through STEP
• Engagement in discipline: STEP freshman
inquiry-based classes, undergraduate
research/teaching experiences
• Academic support: advising session each
quarter, STEP office (STEP Mom), tutoring
• Social support: Living Learning Community
• Financial support: tuition waivers, book
• Close alliance with other programs like
CAMP, Trio, McNair…
Central Washington University STEP
3) Institutionalize essential parts of program
 Curricular: Classes, undergraduate research
experiences fully supported by college
 Academic support: STEP office staffed, tutoring
 Recruiter: now a permanent member of
Admissions staff
 Financial support: Tuition (partial) waivers
 Social: LLC continues
Central Washington University STEP
Dr. Marilyn Levine, Provost
Dr. John Swiney, Associate Vice-President
Enrollment Management
Dr. Kirk Johnson, Dean, College of the Sciences
Dr. David Darda, Associate Dean, Dean College
of the Sciences
Kathy Gaer-Carlton, Matt Cziske, Andres Moreno,
Fernando Galvan, Admissions
Offices of Financial Aid, First-Year Experience, Registrar
Funding from: National Science Foundation, Central
Washington University

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