About the Pathways Project

Pathways is a new UMBC initiative sponsored by the National Science Foundation Improving Undergraduate STEM Education program (DUE-1626413), entitled: “Developing, Implementing, and Evaluating a Post-Transfer Pathways Program for Computing and Engineering Majors.” This project addresses the national need to increase the number and diversity of new computing and engineering graduates by improving the post-transfer success, retention, and graduation  of computing and engineering majors from community colleges to four-year public research universities, with a focus on women and underrepresented minorities. The three major components of the project are:

  • an innovative model of pre- and post-transfer academic coaching for transfer students in computing and engineering
  • a discipline specific one-credit first year experience course designed for transfer students in computing and engineering majors at UMBC
  • an active, data-driven, collaborative learning community comprised of computing and engineering faculty, advisors, and administrators from six partners community colleges and from four academic departments at UMBC.

In addition to supporting the success of transfer students in computing and engineering at UMBC, this project seeks to address the following research questions:

  1. What are the demographics and backgrounds of transfer students from community colleges who intend to pursue computing and engineering majors?
  2. What needs and issues are presented during pre-transfer coaching of computing and engineering transfer students?
  3. How does participation in pre-transfer coaching impact the transition, academic and social integration of computing and engineering transfer students, especially women and underrepresented minorities?
  4. Does participation in a first year experience course specifically designed for computing or engineering transfer students positively impact their academic and social integration, professional development, retention in the majors, and professional development?
  5. How does the implementation of a collaborative, multi-institutional learning community of faculty, staff, and administrators at the participating institutions change the perceptions, attitudes and knowledge about their transfer students?
  6. How does participation in the multi-institutional transfer learning community impact faculty, staff, and administrators’ willingness to implement departmental and institutional change?

We anticipate that approximately 1,160 students and 20 faculty/staff will participate in the Pathways program throughout the five years of the project (2016-2020, with a no-cost extension from 2020 – 2021)

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number DUE-1626413. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.