By Jeff Ristine for SDSU
For underrepresented students seeking a STEM degree across two or more educational institutions, success can be impeded by something as simple as finding the right mentor.
Acquiring a sense of belonging can be difficult as well in the transition from community college to a four-year university. The required math sequence or course work to achieve a particular goal might be unclear. In some cases, finding transportation from one site to another becomes an issue.
A San Diego State University researcher will seek a greater understanding of these complex STEM pathways and barriers under a $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), part of a concerted effort to support undergraduates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. Felisha Herrera Villarreal’s five-year grant is among 31 projects funded by a new NSF program to increase retention and graduation rates in STEM programs at Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) such as SDSU.