SHARK TAILS: Success for Hispanics in Academics, Research, and Knowledge Through Administration of Integrated Learning Supports

Principal Investigator/Project Director

Meline Kevorkian

Colleges / Centers

Office of Academic Affairs


U.S. Department of Education (USED)

Start Date



Strategies for diverse student retention and success in STEM. Administration of Integrated Learning Supports Applicant Institution: Nova Southeastern University (NSU), Fort Lauderdale, FL NSU will increase its capacity to offer evidence-driven holistic support services to help both native and associate degree transfer students majoring in Computer Science, Cybersecurity Management, Information Technology, and Engineering (C2ITE). All targeted undergraduate degree programs will be transformed based on strategic and coordinated guided pathways that maximize the relationship between student mindset and academic success. The Comprehensive Development Plan is 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. Collaborators are HSI Broward College (BC) and Broward County Public Schools (BCPS). Overall Project Goal The project goal is to transform NSU's C2ITE undergraduate degree programs by increasing institutional capacity to better understand issues in the retention and degree attainment of STEM majors who attend HSIs to pursue successful STEM careers and contribute to the US innovation economy. The outcome will be a sustainable model of sound educational practices that generate promising evidence in increasing success measures that broaden the participation of students who are historically underrepresented. Increased institutional capacity will involve fostering DEIA-related support strategies, increasing faculty ability to deliver guidance based on a framework that focuses on developing students' full potential. Comprehensive Development Plan Goals G1: Close gaps for entering, lower division, and transfer students who are at risk. G2: Support native and transfer student transition from on-boarding through BS degree completion. G3: Strengthen opportunity equity for Hispanic, low-income, and other underrepresented students. Comprehensive Development Plan Objectives (Outcomes to be achieved by September 30, 2028) Objectives: 1. Form a new holistic and timely support system for struggling C2ITE freshmen and sophomores and entering native and transfer students. 2. Conduct an education research study on the effectiveness of coordinated coaching for academically challenged diverse C2ITE majors at HSIs. Measurable Outcomes: By September 30, 2028: O1. Undergraduate full-time enrollment of Hispanic and other underrepresented students in C2ITE BS degree programs will increase 5%. O2. Fall-to-Fall retention rate for NSU Hispanic and other underrepresented full-time C2ITE major will increase 7% for underrepresented students and 9% for Hispanic students. O3. Percentage of full-time C2ITE majors who are on track to graduating within 6 years will increase to 25% in Computer Science and Cybersecurity Management, 7% in IT, and 40% in Engineering. O4. Enrollment of full-time associate degree transfers from BC in NSU C2ITE BS degree programs will increase 700%. Project Activities Al: Specialized STEM Early Alert Services - Specialized tutoring, coaching/mentoring for targeted students at academic risk identified in 7 STEM gateway courses through Early Alert Systems. A2: STEM Dual Enrollment with Broward County Public Schools - Exploration of computing dual enrollment course offerings and an Introduction to Research summer program. A3: Culturally Responsive Holistic STEM Mentoring/Coaching/Advisement/Advocacy - Establishing a critical mass of STEM faculty and near-peer students who will serve as coaches/mentors/role models/tutors/allies based on DEIA-focused training that prepares them to provide meaningful, holistic support to Hispanic and other diverse STEM majors. A4: STEM Faculty Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility Professional Development - Faculty will participate in training to learn the most effective mechanisms for coaching and advising diverse students revolving around a graduation and wellness mindset. Cultural responsiveness training will be incorporated to strengthen the faculty ecosystem; near-peer mentors will be trained as well. AS: programs and Services - Strengthening connections between NSU and associate degree graduates at feeder community college Broward College.

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