Summer 2023

Results of the funded programs


Maymester in Mexico: Languages, Culture and Community-Based Learning (University Park) [PY2] 

A faculty-led study abroad program to Mexico develops equity- and globally-minded dispositions, leadership and advocacy skills through experiential learning in multicultural, multilingual communities. The program offers classroom instruction preparing students for ethnographic inquiry within Spanish-speaking and indigenous communities as they examine their own cultural, racial, and linguistic biases to build understanding of systemic oppression and the interpersonal and global impact of language. An innovative program design builds a reciprocal relationship with Universidad Autónoma Benito Juárez de Oaxaca (UABJO). Mexican students join PSU students in online instruction (Spring semester course) and on-ground during a three-week experience in Mexico (Maymester). 

Partnership for “Sustainable Bridges from Campus to Campus: Retention Models for Underrepresented Engineering and Science Students (University Park) [PY4] 

This proposal to serve 140 students represents a consortium of bridge and transition programs for engineering students at Penn State University Park, Abington, Berks and the broader Commonwealth Campuses that focuses on diverse groups underrepresented in engineering. These programs serve engineering students to create communities of belonging and increase student success. Our data show that these bridge programs increase grades in the first math course, first year GPA, and retention in STEM. For example, underrepresented Engineering students who started at UP and who participated in Summer Bridge had a 68% graduation rate in Engineering compared to 44% for underrepresented Engineering students at large. Please note that the SU2023 budget request reflects a 15% decrease from the EOPC award for SU2022. 

RiSE-UP—Representation in Science at Eberly for Undergraduate Prehealth students (University Park) [PY2]  

RiSE UP aims to support the transition of incoming first-year students with marginalized identities who have interests in pursuing careers in health professions. This 6-week summer residential program will allow students to: connect with pre-health resources/advising, receive academic instruction in math and chemistry, learn essential college success skills, and be immersed in healthcare environments. With a goal of fostering a diverse scientific community and improving the retention rate of students in science, the program ultimately seeks to impact the future healthcare workforce to better address healthcare disparities in underrepresented groups. 

Winning Over Math: Building a Mindset for Success (Greater Allegheny) [PY1]  

In an effort to combat equity gaps in critical gateway courses, gaps that have been exacerbated by pandemic disruptions, this free summer bridge program for historically underrepresented and first- generation college students focuses on college readiness, building self-efficacy and career connection to fields recognized as having barriers to entry. Specifically, a negative math identity can be a critical roadblock for many students, particularly those intending to pursue a degree like engineering, information technology, or business, all requiring calculus. Providing resources for success not only supports students but could ultimately lead to increased diversity in these fields.