A chemistry lab in Parsons Hall at UNH
Two chemistry professors are spearheading an effort that will support 30 students over three years who transfer into the university’s College of Engineering and Physical Sciences (CEPS) from community colleges.
The $630,000 grant from the National Science Foundation will support a financial and academic support program, called “CC2CEPS,” to approximately 10 students per year, who will receive personalized introduction to campus culture and resources. The program will focus particularly on undergraduate research—a significant aspect of the CEPS experience for the majority of the college’s students— as an avenue through which these new students can become integrated into the college and UNH as a whole.
“It’s about learning how to learn and how to take advantage of everything the university has to offer,” said Sam Pazicni, assistant professor of chemistry. “Through our experiences we became aware of the plight of community college transfer students. The numbers don’t paint a good picture.”
Pazicni and Meg Greenslade, assistant professor of chemistry, found that few students transfer into CEPS from community colleges. Between 2009 and 2014, fewer than 15 percent of community college students transferring to UNH have elected a CEPS major; of those that do, fewer than half graduate, on average. CEPS enrolls approximately 1,820 students and community college transfer students account for just 3.5 percent of the college's graduates.
“We had support and encouragement for this program from across campus,” said Greenslade. One faculty member from every department in the college serves on a steering committee for the program. Faculty professional development is also a part of this initiative via STEM Pedagogy Academies that will be hosted in collaboration with Victor Benassi, director of UNH’s Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, beginning in summer 2016. These academies will be open to not only UNH STEM faculty, but also faculty from area community colleges.
Students from any community college are encouraged to apply to the CC2CEPS program if they meet the minimum requirements for admission into CEPS, are U.S. citizens or legal residents and qualify for federal student aid. The UNH admissions deadline is April 1, 2015, and the deadline to apply for the CC2CEPS scholarship is May 1, 2015. For more information about CC2CEPS contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.