NSU SHARKS: Supporting Hispanic Academics, Research, Knowledge, and Success

Principal Investigator/Project Director

Meline Kevorkian

Colleges / Centers

College of Computing and Engineering


U.S. Department of Education

Start Date



NSU will increase its capacity to offer evidence-driven instruction and support services to help both native and community college transfer students through critical inter- and intra-institutional transition points. All of the undergraduate degree programs in its College of Computing and Engineering will be transformed based on strategic and coordinated guided pathways that maximize the relationship between student mindset and academic success. NSU proposes a Comprehensive Development Plan responsive to the needs of all students, particularly those who are members of Hispanic and other underrepresented groups, as well as those who are low-income. Overall Project Goal To increase capacity to be responsive to the needs of degree-seeking native and transfer students, especially those who are Hispanic and low-income, leading to increased enrollment, persistence, graduation, and transfer rates. Comprehensive Development Plan Goals G1: Close achievement gaps in programs where students are at high risk of dropout, failure, or withdrawal. G2: Support student transition from on-boarding preparation through completion of the baccalaureate degree. G3: Strengthen opportunity equity for Hispanic, low-income, and other underrepresented students. G4: Expand future capacity for STEM knowledge through alignment of Computer Science, Engineering, and outreach programming. Comprehensive Development Plan Objectives (Outcomes to be achieved by September 30, 2024) O1: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science (BSCS) enrollment will increase 25% (baseline: 90 – Fall 2018). O2: 40% of BSCS enrollment will be underrepresented in STEM (baseline: 16.3% Black & Hispanic average over the past 3 years). O3: The Fall-to-Fall retention rate for NSU native full-time computing majors will be 6% higher than baseline (baseline: CCE retention: Overall 69%, Hispanics 50%, Black 71% - 2017-18). O4: The 4-year graduation rate for NSU native full-time computing majors will be at least double the baseline (baseline: 11% - Fall 2014 cohort). O5: The 4-year graduation rate for underrepresented NSU native full-time computing majors will be equal to the overall graduation rate (target: 11% - Fall 2014 cohort). O6: The transfer rate to NSU CCE for BC full-time graduates will be at least double the baseline (baseline: 4% BC-NSU CCE transfer rate). O7: Increase student academic growth mindset and institutional cultural responsiveness (pre-intervention measures - based on the Center for Community College Student Engagement 2019 report on mindset established in Fall 2020). Project Strategies and Activities S1: Curriculum and Instruction Innovations - a new Academically Talented Early Identification program that includes shared use of facilities, technology, and research experiences with community college faculty and students, and a new computing academic outreach summer program for diverse high school students; a new Student Tech Sandbox and Hangout that supports collaborative faculty-student research experiences and cybersecurity simulation training activities through a new dedicated Cyber Range learning lab; industry participation in and sponsorship of internships and other experiential learning activities related to in-demand occupations (Competitive Preference Priority #1); modifying curriculum content and pedagogy to incorporate use of the new Cyber Range learning lab; integrating new class assignments to develop apps addressing student financial literacy and debt management (Competitive Preference Priority #2). S2: Faculty and Near-Peer Discipline-Specific, Culturally Responsive Mentoring/ Coaching/ Advocacy - an improved mentoring program to establish a critical mass of faculty who will participate in professional development to learn the most effective mechanisms or coaching and advising diverse students revolving around a graduation and/or transfer mindset; new cultural responsiveness training for faculty and near-peer mentors; modifying curriculum content and pedagogy to incorporate culturally responsive instructional approaches. Project strategies are based on evidence in the areas of diverse student success (particularly among Hispanics), culturally responsive teaching, faculty mentoring and coaching, undergraduate research and experiential learning, student identity, professional development, and STEM education.

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