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Don’t just transfer, Graduate!. Rosa Maria Gonzalez, M.Ed. Professor/Counselor Transfer Center Coordinator, San Antonio College. Purpose. Describe a comprehensive approach to assist students, in particular STEM majors

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Don t just transfer graduate

Don’t just transfer, Graduate!

Rosa Maria Gonzalez, M.Ed.


Transfer Center Coordinator,

San Antonio College


  • Describe a comprehensive approach to assist students, in particular STEM majors

  • Describe SAC’s “Don’t Just Transfer, Graduate” campaign to increase Associate degree completion

  • Describe impact on STEM majors, including graduation – increase in Associate of Science degrees awarded

Outreach recruitment
Outreach & recruitment

  • College Connections – visits to high schools

  • College nights – STEM faculty & students attend

  • SAEP Road to Success – booth by STEM, club members

  • Math & Science Upward Bound program

  • Summer engineering program for high school students

Ftic advising
FTIC Advising

  • Group Advising

  • Faculty Advising

  • Referral to STEM counselor

  • Transfer Center – articulated degree plans

  • Degree Works – in near future

Sdev student development freshman orientation or student success course
SDEV – Student Development(freshman orientation or student success course)

  • SDEV classes – career assessment & career research project

  • SDEV paired with developmental math - Learning community (part of Achieving the Dream initiative)

  • SDEV dedicated course for freshman engineering cohort

Stem programs
STEM Programs

  • S-STEM grant – META scholarships

  • MSEIP grant – Summer engineering bridge program

  • MESA Study Center

  • Title V Puentes project

  • Math/Science Upward Bound

Math science upward bound
Math Science Upward Bound

  • $1 million grant from the U.S. Department   Education to fund a four-year Upward Bound Math and Science project for 9th-12th grade students at Edison High School, in the San Antonio School District (SAISD).  The purpose of the grant is to improve the chances for at-risk, low-income minority students who typically are first-generation in college students, to finish high school with adequate math and science preparation. This helps assure success in college and entry into science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers.    

Title v puentes project
Title V Puentes Project

  • SAC & Texas State University

    Transfer/Articulation Agreement

    in Biochemistry, Chemistry, and Physics

  • Improvement of BioSpot & construction of Greenspot (greenhouse)

  • Expansion & improvement of MESA Study Center, equipment & computers for lab

  • Math Space, tutoring areas, SMART classrooms

  • STEM faculty training for SAC & Texas State faculty members on best practices in teaching STEM coursework targeting underserved

In reach stem efforts
In-reach STEM efforts

  • MESA Study Center – Open House

  • Publicity in student newspaper

  • Fliers

  • MESA webpage

  • MESA Facebook

Mesa open house
MESA Open House

Two day event for students to create awareness of the center’s student resources (physics/astronomy books, engineering software accessible on each computer, study areas, club meetings, informal tutoring).

Scholarships meta
Scholarships - META

NSF S-STEM - META (goal) scholarships

  • STEM majors – previously did not include Science

  • Renewal - META Activities, such as meet with SAC advisor/counselor, meet with transfer advisor, attend club meetings, attend lectures, Transfer Fair, field trips, volunteer at STEM recruiting events

  • Email distribution list – info on internal & external scholarships and internship opportunities

Stem mentoring our team
STEM Mentoring - Our TEAM

  • Engineering Program Coordinator/Faculty – Dr. Dan Dimitriu

  • Physics, ENGR, Architecture Dept. Chair, Jerry O’Connor

  • Astronomy/Physics professor – Alfred Alaniz

  • Grants Writer – Susan Espinoza

  • Counselor/Transfer Coordinator - Rosa Maria Gonzalez

  • Other STEM faculty

  • MESA Center Coordinator

  • Clerical support, student SI leaders and tutors


  • Faculty/student engagement – office hours in MESA Center

  • Faculty sponsors for clubs, MAES, SACNAS, Physics, SWE

  • Student/faculty attend national conferences

  • Local & regional field trips

  • Research experiences/competitions

  • Fun with Physics Fridays

Intro to engr course
Intro to ENGR course

  • Practical project – student teams develop exhibits for the Children’s Museum; new toy or exhibit demonstrating science principle

  • Project to improve an everyday appliance or gadget

  • Robotics projects

Summer research
Summer research

  • LSAMP summer research program at UT system universities

  • CIP-AIR summer research at NASA

  • NASA sponsored summer research: hydroponics, solar panels

  • Maymester research at TAMU-Kingsville

  • REUs at other locations

Cip air summer research
CIP Air Summer Research


  • 4 student interns – Johnson Space Center, Houston

  • 5 student interns, SAC - Hydroponics project


  • 2 interns – JSC Houston

  • 2 interns – SAC solar panels

Cip air program
CIP AIR Program

  • Curriculum Improvements Partnership Award for the Integration of Research

  • Purpose: “to assist two- and four-year minority institutions with strengthening their science, technology, engineering and mathematics academic fields and technical programs.” - NASA

  • Results: gave several SAC and UTSA students an opportunity to work at NASA for 10 weeks.

Nasa community college aerospace scholars program
NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars program

  • Electrical Engineering student presented to MESA members about 2011 CAS experience

Other resources initiatives
Other resources/initiatives

  • Math 1414 vs. Math 1314 (STEM college algebra course & algebra course for non-STEM majors) & Liberal Arts Math

  • Math Pass program – 1 week intensive math review

  • Engineering 1377 – pilot math accelerated program with engineering applications (non credit, pre-requisite college algebra)

  • How much Math do you need? – campus-wide awareness campaign re: math needed for majors

  • EDGE summer engineering program for high school students

  • Supplemental Instruction/tutoring in MESA Center

  • Engineering PREP program on campus during summer for middle school students

Examples of stem student success
Examples of STEM Student Success

  • Former student – received BS Elec ENGR, MS EE ENGR, working on PHD in engineering

  • Former student – Bachelor & MS in CIS; now teaching in CIS Dept.

  • Single parent – BS in Industrial Engineering from TAMU College Station

  • EE Graduate –working with Gen. Dynamics, AZ

  • ME graduate – working with Standard Aero

  • ME graduate – working field engr with oil company

Don t just transfer graduate1
Don’t Just Transfer, Graduate

  • Campus-wide graduation team – create culture of GRADUATION – culture of TRANSFER (already a tradition)

  • Encourage students to review degree plan & Associate degree attainment

  • Email blasts from President- Why get Associate, targeted emails to 40 hrs.+ students, phone center, grad buttons, graduation push weeks, graduation fair

  • Transfer degree plans – NOTE on transfer degree plans regarding AA Transfer - many students transfer with 40 hrs. & can do reverse transfer

Administrative faculty support
Administrative/faculty support

  • President, VP for Academic & VP for Student Service

  • Faculty advising training (for Arts/Science faculty)

  • Additional Associate of Science degree plans – from 3 – 11 degrees (Pre- Pharmacy, Nursing, Medicine, Dentistry, Pre-Vet, Environmental Science)

  • Regalia walks by top administrators/faculty

  • Ipad & Ipod drawings to graduation applicants

  • Distinguished Graduates per program – graduation project as service to college

Value of associate degree
Value of Associate degree

You may ask, “Why An Associate Degree?”SAC President response: 1. An Associate Degree is a real degree.  We can help you plan for the Bachelor’s, but right now you are close to an educational accomplishment – graduation from SAC!  Your Associate’s will forever be a part of your world.  And maybe it will make you the first college graduate in your family.Even if you still see the Bachelor’s degree as your only goal, ask about 2+2 transfer plans that can award you an Associate of Arts: Transfer.2. It can increase your competitive ability in the job market. Pretend you are an employer reviewing job applications.  One candidate has some college experience (say 63 hours) and another has a 2-year degree (also 63 hours).  All other things being equal, whom would you most likely hire? Probably the one with the degree. 3. You will enhance your job skills in high-demand areas.  Many programs at SAC are in high-demand fields such as nursing, medical assisting, computer information systems, dental assisting, court reporting and American Sign Language.  The credentials needed to enter these exciting, well-paying careers are obtainable at SAC.4. You’ll gain added incentive and encouragement.  Once you formally graduate from SAC, you will feel empowered to succeed at the next level.

Graduation increase
Graduation Increase

  • 39% increase over the last 3 years in total degrees awarded from 923 to 1284

  • 63% increase in total STEM Associate degrees awarded from 71 in 2007 to 116 in 2010

Meta scholarships results 88 positive outcomes
META Scholarships – Results88% positive outcomes

Transfer services programs
Transfer Services/Programs

  • Transfer Center, articulation agreements, degree plans, Transfer Fair, & webpage

  • Faculty Advising training

  • Transfer advisors on campus – informational & by appointment

  • Engineering compact – statewide initiatives

  • Title V Puentes project – science degree articulation & outreach efforts (bus trips, campus visits, etc)

  • Coordinating Board funded Transfer Connections – campus fields trips, advising, transfer admissions & financial aid assistance

  • TAMU College Station TAPP program – recruitment primarily of engineering majors

Post transfer
Post- Transfer

  • Reverse Transfer – follow-up with STEM students & scholarships recipients

  • Informal tracking/follow-up

    - Facebook, email, word-of-mouth

  • STEM transfers as leaders in university clubs, competitions, research opportunities

  • Transfer data on success of transfers in general – favorable as compared to native students

6 year transfer rate
6 Year Transfer Rate

2006 13%

2010 20%

Future goals
Future goals

  • Increase STEM graduates & improve Transfer tracking

  • Expand community engagement through advisory council members

  • Develop campus/regional Robotics competitions

  • Increase MESA Coordinator outreach to high schools & mentoring with public school groups

  • Degree Works program for easier advising & possibly Grades First retention program

  • Explore using STEM graduate students as interns in MESA program

Issues recommendations
Issues/ Recommendations

  • Need for data on transfers by major, to track # and success of STEM transfers to specific universities

  • Need for more collaboration between community college advisors/counselors & university STEM advisors/faculty

  • Continued statewide and local efforts for smooth transfer of core and field of study, especially in engineering & computer science

  • Need for Sophomore check-up, i.e. systematic outreach/advising to students with 24-30 hours.

  • STEM advising at transfer institutions not available to students until accepted at university

  • Need for STEM scholarships for part-time students



  • Your experiences???

  • Best practices??