Abstract with high impact activities. Major GoalsThe major

Abstract The REDACTED Scholarship Program sponsored by
the National Science Foundation since September, 2013 is designed to give
economically disadvantaged undergraduate students located in the REDACTED area
the financial support, mentoring, and career skills necessary to graduate from
REDACTED. These resources and aid lead students to be more successful in their
engineering and/or statistics careers. The program provides a financial aid
package equaling 75% of in-state tuition costs each semester. Several career development
activities, such as laboratory visits, mock interviews, and industry panels are
also offered by this program. It provides networking opportunities with
professionals in industry and academia to further develop connections leading
to internships, co-ops, or research experiences. Additionally, it promotes
outreach events to encourage STEM as a career path and to mentor youth in the
local REDACTED community. The goal is to give scholars the tools and confidence
needed to succeed after graduating from REDACTED.        Surveys are conducted
before and after each semester, in order to collect data on each student’s
academic progress and involvement in both academic activities and community
service. At the start and end of every semester the students’ long-term and
short-term career goals are also updated. From the Fall 2016 to Spring 2017
academic years, 75% of scholars received higher than a 3.35 grade point
average. All scholars are actively involved in extracurricular activities on
campus. Eleven scholars have participated in community service, such as the
Society of Women in Engineering’s event, “Be that Engineer” helping to inspire
young females to consider engineering as a career path. Twelve scholars have
participated in an academic and/or professional development events including
research seminars, the REDACTED Engineering Career Fair, tech talks, and
involvement in academic related student organizations.  Thirteen out of
twenty scholars have participated in at least one internship, co-op, or research
position within the academic year. The cumulative involvement in events
highlight the effectiveness of the program in connecting scholars with high
impact activities. Major GoalsThe major goal of this program is to offer an
academic support system for economically disadvantaged undergraduate students
located in the REDACTED area. The program aims to provide a pathway to success
by issuing financial support, mentoring, and career skills to undergraduate
students studying engineering and/or statistics. The program gives each student
75% of in-state tuition costs each semester. It helps develop career-readiness
skills through mock job interviews, professional development workshops, and
industry visits with mock companies. Participating in these opportunities gives
scholars the practice and confidence to better prepare them for the workforce.
Additionally, the program helps scholars network with industry professionals
and faculty on campus. This connection has lead scholars to receive
undergraduate engineering research opportunities. Through undergraduate
research, scholars have the opportunity to explore and promote innovation in
their field of interest. In addition, it further develops their critical
thinking skills, independence, and oral/written communication skills.
Undergraduate research can also provide one-on-one mentoring for the scholar.
The numerous opportunities from the REDACTED Scholars program have been shown
to increase the participation in internships, co-ops, and undergraduate
research. Application and SelectionStudents in this program receive $6,500
(equalting 75% of in-state tuition costs) each semester with no specific
allocations within academic disciplines. This is to ensure that each student
selected is of the highest academic quality with a demonstrated need for
financial aid. Students admitted to REDACTED University are invited to apply
online if they meet the following requirements:
Demonstrated
financial need through FAFSA
Matriculated into engineering
or statistics
Full-time undergraduate
enrollment in engineering or statistics
Demonstrated academic merit,
with a GPA of 3.0 or higher
Raleigh permanent address
U.S citizen, national, or alien
admitted as a refugee at time of consideration
After the online application period closes, a
group of applicants are invited for a face-to-face interview. The students that
are highly qualified are then selected to join the REDACTED Scholars program
beginning in the Fall semester. Could add something about the Wake Tech 2+3
program here, but not familiar with the program to be able to write about it.RenewalAt the end of each semester, scholars will be
reviewed for renewal consideration. Each scholar is asked to complete an online
survey documenting his/her academic and professional progress throughout the
semester. To be eligible for renewal, students must:
Maintain
minimum GPA of 3.0
Complete at least 30 credit
hours each academic year (university minimum is 24)  
Change to next higher student
classification each year  
Make demonstrated progress
towards engineering or statistics degree  
Maintain positive student image
consistent with academic scholars  
Continue demonstrated financial
need (i.e., FAFSA eligible)  
Maintain Raleigh permanent
address  
Continue full-time enrollment
in engineering or statistics  
Continue involvement in campus
student or professional organizations, or active participant in STEM
Scholar-related activities (e.g., serving as an ambassador for the STEM
program to recruit new students and updating e-portfolio)
A scholar can stay in the program and be renewed
until graduation. If a scholar particpates in a co-op for a semester, he/she
will not have the scholarship renewed while away during that semester, but
he/she will be eligible for renewal upon return to the university. A scholar
may remain in the program while on academic probation for up to one academic
semester.Program ActivitiesAlong with maintaining a high academic merit,
each scholar is expected to participate in at least one extracurricular
activity. This includes industry internships, undergraduate research, study
abroad, writing/tutoring services, faculty seminars and workshops, and
academic/service on-campus organizations. Participation in such activities
enhance students’ academic maturation and professional skills. It helps develop
professionalism, teamwork, and time-management skills which will benefit
students in their future careers.At the beginning of the Fall semester, scholars
were invited to attend an orientation session. This social event allows
scholars to meet each other face-to-face for the first time and receive an
overview of the program. During this time, scholars were asked to create a list
of events and/or opportunities that they would like to participate in during
the academic year. The most requested opportunities among the scholars were
research seminars, networking events with alumni, laboratory visits, and
mentoring opportunities.Taking the scholars’ requests into
consideration, REDACTED Scholars offered two outreach events that students had
the opportunity to participate in. The first event was volunteering at REDACTED
University’s annual Engineering Open House, offered in month, 2017.
During this event, scholars presented a poster and answered questions from
prospective REDACTED College of Engineering students and families. The second
outreach event during the academic school year was Society of Women Engineers:
Be that Engineer! During this event, scholars attended a local REDACTED middle
school to connect with young women and serve as a STEM role model. The event
aims to empower women and suggest that STEM is a highly desirable and
achievable career aspiration for women. Eighty percent of scholars participated
in at least one of these outreach events. Scholars who participated in outreach
reported that they gained satisfaction and confidence by serving as
high-achieving mentors to peers and younger generations in their community.FindingsSince the program began in Fall 2013, there has
been an increase in the number of students participating in at least one
internship, co-op, or undergraduate research experience. During the Fall 2013-
Spring 2014 academic year (Year 1), 33% of students participated in an internship,
co-op, or research experience. For the Fall 2016- Spring 2017 academic year
(Year 4), 65% of scholars participated in an internship, co-op or undergraduate
research experience. The rise in industry and/or research experience provides
more students with a stronger career-readiness foundation necessary to be
successful upon graduation. It gives scholars valuable work experience while
allowing them to explore their career interests and further develop
professional skills.Graph 1: Number of Scholars Participating in an
Internship, Co-Op, or Undergraduate Research Graph 2 shown below demonstrates the increasing
number of total participating students since the program began in 2013. In Fall
2013 (Year 1), there was a total of six scholars, four male (66%) and two
female (33%). In Spring 2017 (Year 4), there was a total of twenty REDACTED
scholars. Eleven male (55%) and nine female (44%). The Fall 2016- Spring 2017
academic year (Year 4) had the closest male to female ratio compared to past
years. Additionally, the size of the program has grown by 70% since it began. Of
the twenty participating scholars for the Fall 2016- Spring 2017 academic year,
four have graduated in Spring 2017. Three of these students have chosen to seek
permanent employment, and one will continue formal education and obtain a
Master of Science in Textile Engineering. All four of these students have
graduated within four years or less from the admission of REDACTED University
and/or transferred from a Community College. Graph 2: Participant Gender and Total Number of
Scholars Since the Beginning of the Program ConclusionThe fourth year of REDACTED Scholarship program
for undergraduate students in engineering and statistics has demonstrated a
high academic success rate among its participants. Graduating students have
reported a sense of confidence and career-readiness due to participation in the
four year program. In addition to benefits derived from the financial aid
package, scholars have reported that the interactions with like-minded peers
have helped them achieve success in their undergraduate career at REDACTED University.