Meeting 5/27/2016

Participating: Kathryn Williamson, Gay Stewart, WVU, Joe Evans, Glenville State College,  Joanna Burt-Kinderman, Pocahontas County Schools, Sarah Riley, High Rocks Educational Corp, Caitlin Howley, Erica Harvey, Fairmont State University, Karissa Poszywak, WV Department of Education, Sarah Tucker, Chancellor, WVCTC, Sue Ann Heatherly, NRAO

Meeting Video

[vimeo 168553942 w=640 h=360]

Meeting Audio Only (on Google Drive)

1. General thoughts about the grant proposal process: First Question: are we all in to develop these ideas and try to solve the problem of STEM attrition during the first two years of post-secondary education for first generation rural students?

  • Gay: our reviews not that good– need to address those weaknesses that were pointed out and convince reviewers that we can be trusted to do the work as stated.
  • Concerns about online learning community.  Need to bolster the lit review in this area. Should not stray too far from the original ideas in the preproposal.
  • Sarah Tucker: wonders about her role of the CTC system.
  • Joanna tells a story about a FGC student’s experience.  Need to write that up for the grant.

2. Discussion on generation of proposed courses:

  • Joe: with  decreased course requirements for graduation ( down to 120 cred hours), it is an uphill climb to create new courses, and get faculty buy in and students to take them
  • Several: Can we highjack existing courses? The “FreshmanSuccess” 1 credit course ( Joe: GSC 100 course “First Year Experience”) are examples university 101 seminar.  Could a STEM section/track be developed for this?
  • Kathryn: Ways to embed in existing STEM course? “I want my students to get authentic STEM experience in my classes that I saw Green Bank.  wrestling with a research problem, not having a linear path… Hard to do in a 150 seat class.”
  • Sarah Tucker: CTC did away with developmental classes (typically English and Math), and instead introduced “Supplemental Instruction” to ensure that students gain the competencies they need to pass the college level courses. these competencies are aligned with the Student’s desired pathway/emphasis.  could have a STEM pathway.  Students need to know technical writing, trouble shooting, logic, reasoning – all skills that fall with the STEM umbrella.  Supplemental Instruction does offer 2 hours of credit – but not for a major.
  • Two years could take a hard look at exisiting course and figure out how to improve.
  • Erica: Badges? – Online badges, or credentialing is gaining in popularity. This would remove the obstacles of creating a for-credit course as well.
  • We discussed over lunch  the possibility of offering the course  instruction online with local mentors at each school. In time – that role could be taken on by our own “Hometown ambassadors”
    • Joe: State-wide  course transferrability  between all Post Secondary Institutions is the norm.
    • lessen the strain on insitu faculty
    • different topics could be led by different people with that expertise.
    • could have the learning community also be face-to-face to work on the assignments each week.
  • Joanna/Sarah R: Keep Laser focused on connecting existing things that together will leverage change.
    • start internship
    • build hybrid year-long course- turn more ownership to students who rise up through the ranks.  Courses should have  components where students learn intentionally about 1st generation students and become part of fixing  the system.
      • add first-gen rural kids training for all college faculty (ala the Cognito Course model?)

3. What do First Gen Student need? How to incentivize taking these classes:

  • Joe:  in his experience, a relationship with a faculty member is key, someone to encourage, and suggest opportunities, to say “you should do this”.
  • paid internship – need to pay the students.
  • course credit is an incentive if it is useful to the student- must count toward the 120 hours.
  • possibility of reduced tuition for our courses if taught by people “off-campus”  For full time students taking at least 12 hours – this not an issue but could be good for part-time students.

How many students are rising freshmen STEM oriented 1st generation college goers?

  • Don’t know yet:
  • In the pilot – if we include FSU program we could potentially have 40 students  in the 2 week internships (Sue Ann has done some budget math and thinks maybe 20 at Green Bank, and 20 at FSU for the pilot)

Will the courses be mandatory for all 1st gen STEM freshmen? How will we provide sufficient internships?

  • This is part of developing a state-wide and regional alliance.
  • Convincing folks to take on rising freshmen for 2 weeks. Professional Development of these faculty is a must.
  • sustainability must come from existing funding by  existing internships( REU and other programs will have to be rethought to encompass these early students.
  • and developing sponsorships from industry. CTC system is building good internship programs – “Earn and Learn”

4. Hometown ambassadors

  • Lead Learning Community aka Club
  • outreach in hometowns – with BOE and classrooms
  • leadership – part of the solution – fixing the system.
  • Through an existing program , WVSPOT, there are mechanisms to pay ambassadors $50 for a visit to a classroom, schools provide $50 travel to cover gas.

5. Other people we should invite to the group now:

  • Karissa to talk to members of two STEM groups who are reporting to the STEM Council. She will provide them with copies of the preproposal, reviews to see if any are interested in joining us now.
  • Michelle Withers ( Joanna)
  • Jen Roberston – WVU Extension STEM coordinator (Sue Ann)
  • Ann Chester, HSTA (Sue Ann)
  • Ask Sarah Tucker about someone from HEPC ( perhaps Dr. Roxann Humbert, Statewide Director of Higher Education eLearning.? See WVRocks online course delivery system)
  • Joanna to talk to Lucy ( CTC educator)