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Creating Research Opportunities for Students:
The Mid-Atlantic Consortium

The First in the World FIPSE Grant, October 2015 - September 2019

This ambitious program is funded by a First in the World FIPSE Grant awarded to Farmingdale State College by the United States Department of Education.

The Mid-Atlantic Consortium consists of Farmingdale State College and its four partners (Bowie State University, Central Connecticut State University, Kean University, and The SUNY College at Old Westbury). The goal of the Consortium is to improve 4-year graduation rates by 20% over each college’s baseline for both incoming first-year students and transfer students. The most innovative aspect of the proposal is that – beyond on-campus research – the Consortium will place both faculty and students in mentored research experiences off-campus in national laboratories, research universities, business accelerators, and other research venues. Additional activities include concerted faculty and curricular development; both first-year and second-year/transfer-year experience courses; Treisman-style collaborative learning workshops attached to foundational courses; project-based learning; special events (speakers and group exercises, as well as an array of videos from TED Talks and other sources); intensive counseling with a digital “Roadmap to Graduation and Beyond;” block scheduling; and – most importantly – involving students with hands-on research both on-campus and off-campus.

The Mid-Atlantic Consortium will adapt the Strong Theory of UCLA’s PEERS program to the characteristics of less-selective state teaching universities. The program will be evaluated using a randomized control trial design, meeting the WWC Evaluation Standard without reservations.

 

Sincerely,

Beverly L. Kahn, PhD
Project Director/ Principal Investigator

Resume of Dr. Beverly Kahn

FRN Symposium Journal Article - Research Aligned Mentorships and the New Generation of Students

 

 

FITW LOGO                                                                                                                FIPSE

This ambitious program is funded by a First in the World FIPSE Grant awarded to Farmingdale State College by the United States Department of Education.


Creating Research Opportunities for Students: The Mid - Atlantic Consortium
Farmingdale State College, State University of New York
Project Director: Beverly L. Kahn, PhD

 

Abstract

The Mid-Atlantic Consortium consists of Farmingdale State College and its four partners (Bowie State University, Central Connecticut State University, Kean University, and SUNY College at Old Westbury). All five partners will implement a novel “Research - Aligned Mentorship" (RAM) program. The most innovative aspect of the proposal is that – beyond on-campus research – the Consortium will place both faculty and students in mentored research experiences off-campus in national laboratories, research universities, business accelerators, and other research venues.

Background

Farmingdale State College and its partners, all of whom enroll disproportionate numbers of our nation’s "High Need" students, are not graduating a high enough proportion of students in 4 years. This challenge has serious repercussions for the students, the institutions, and the nation.

Research Goals

Through a RCT, this project intends to gather evidence demonstrating whether consortium schools can significantly improve 4‐year graduation rates of high need students by delivering the RAM Program. The project is expected to meet WWC standards without reservations.

 

Methodology

Interventions:

  • On‐campus and off‐campus research experiences for students
  • Intensive counseling Treisman‐style collaborative learning workshops attached to key foundational courses
  • New 2nd‐Year/Transfer Experience course

Participants:

Across the five consortium members, three cohorts of students, and the treatment and control conditions of first-years and transfers, the project intends to analyze between 3900 and 5200 students.

Data Collection:

  • First GPA
  • Annual credits earnd
  • 1st - 2nd year / 3rd - 4th year retention
  • Graduation within 4-years

Research Findings

By the end of Year 2, we expect to see treatment students demonstrate higher retention, GPA, and credits earned than the students in the control group.

 

 

Practical Applications

  • Hands-on summer research with a faculty mentor 
  • Digital Roadmap to Graduation
  • 2nd / Transfer Year Experience courses that introduce how research is conducted, sharpen library skills, and explore careers & graduate school
  • Collaborative learning workshops
  • Project-based learning
  • Common FITW YouTube channel contacting pertinent TED talks

References

The Mid-Atlantic Consortium will adapt the Strong Theory of UCLA’s Program for Excellence in Education and Research in the Sciences (PEERS). See: Toven-Lindsey B., Levis-Fitzgerald M., Barbar, P.H., & Hasson T. (2015). Increasing persistence in undergraduate science majors: A model for institutional support of underrepresented students. CBE - Life Sciences Education, 14, 1-12.

Contact Information

Project Director: Beverly L. Kahn, PhD Farmingdale State College, SUNY 2350 Broadhollow Rd, Farmingdale, NY 11735 631-420-2396 Beverly.Kahn@farmingdale.edu

Evaluator: Kate Winter, PhD 703-574-3746 kate@katewinterevaluation.com

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