College Welcomes Incoming Freshmen

student rocket clubFor incoming freshmen, there’s a long list of things to fret about: getting used to a new campus, adapting to living on their own, navigating a confusing system, or passing prerequisites.

To help alleviate some of those normal pre-semester worries, about 250 pre-engineering students living in on-campus housing had a chance Monday to hear from a successful alumnus, get familiar with support services, and tour engineering labs.

Tracy Maples, associate dean of academic programs, said about one-quarter of incoming freshmen want to be engineers. Although popular, the major is also demanding.

Continue reading “College Welcomes Incoming Freshmen”

CSULB Freshman Wins Video Pitch Contest at MESA Conference

CSULB engineering freshman Zoe Smith went to last month’s MESA Conference hoping to learn about leadership and connect with future employers. She didn’t realize she’d end up winning the video-pitch challenge, which came with a $1,000 prize.

Smith was among 14 CSULB students who attended the MESA Student Leadership Conference Oct. 27-28 in downtown Los Angeles. The event connects hand-picked engineering and computer science students with industry professionals to develop the next generation of STEM leaders. Continue reading “CSULB Freshman Wins Video Pitch Contest at MESA Conference”

Peer Mentoring Program Launches for Freshmen and Transfer Students

The CSULB College of Engineering already offers many programs to support students’ success. Beginning this Fall, entering freshmen and transfer students will also be able to join a learning community where they’ll be supported with mentoring, tutoring and networking to aid their transition into college.

The Excellence through a Community of Engaged Learners (EXCEL) program, funded by an HSI-STEM Sí Puedo grant, will be available to students in the colleges of Engineering and Natural Sciences and Mathematics. Information sessions will be held from 12-2 p.m. on both Thursday, April 6, USU-205, and Friday, April 7, MCC. Snacks and refreshments will be provided. ] Continue reading “Peer Mentoring Program Launches for Freshmen and Transfer Students”

Students Incorporate Tutoring into Study Routines

tutoring centerThere are alternatives to noisy study groups or struggling through tough engineering assignments alone. At the Engineering Tutoring Center, there’s help in the form of tutors who’ve already successfully made it through the same courses probably giving you angst.

The center employs more than two dozen tutors, with a focus on undergraduate engineering courses with low completion rates. The tutors need to have earned a B or better in the courses they’re tutoring in, preferably here at CSULB. “That way they can tutor based on experience,” said Academic Success Program Coordinator Katarina Spralja. Continue reading “Students Incorporate Tutoring into Study Routines”

Engineering Honors Program Embarks on Fourth Year

What Mairead Argus appreciEngineering Honors Programates most about the Cal State Long Beach Engineering Honors Program is being in smaller-sized classes with like-minded people. “There’s a sense of community. You’re not just your student ID number,” she says.

Elena Desanto, a former valedictorian at Port of Los Angeles High School, enjoys the time for in-depth discussions with faculty. “If you have questions, you can ask them and faculty genuinely want to help you.” Continue reading “Engineering Honors Program Embarks on Fourth Year”

Taking the Initiative – The Engineering Student Success Center

Engineering Student Support Center

Though only in its second year of operation, the Engineering Student Support Center is already receiving campus-wide recognition for the dynamic range of support services it provides. The Center’s programs are aligned with the goals of the Highly Valued Degree Initiative (HDVI), which is a campus-wide program that CSULB President F. King Alexander launched in 2010.

The HVDI challenges the CSULB community to find innovative ways to cut in half the “achievement gap”—the existing gap in degree attainment by underrepresented minority (URM) students—and to reduce the time it takes to earn a degree. The HDVI’s goals were particularly relevant to the College of Engineering (COE), where approximately 35% of all undergraduate students come from URM backgrounds and are graduating at rates that are significantly lower than those of their fellow students.

The COE embarked on an exhaustive evaluation of the root causes of this disparity among its students in an effort to design a program that effectively addresses them. “The challenge that we faced was to create a range of support services that is at once broad, integrated, and able to be tailored to meet the needs of each student,” said Dhushy Sathianathan, the COE’s associate dean for academic programs.

The result of this intensive effort is the Engineering Student Success Center (ESSC), which provides a proactive range of support services to all undergraduate Engineering students. Among the integrated support programs that it provides is academic advising, tutoring, professional development, and career guidance. “A key element of the ESSC’s student success strategy is close tracking of each student’s progress, and early intervention measures when needed,” said Dr. Sathianathan.

Since the ESSC’s launch, the graduation rate has risen from 585 to 671 per year, and the ESSC’s programs are believed to be a key contributing factor to this increased success.