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Broadening Participation of Women and Underrepresented Minorities in STEM through a Hybrid Online Transfer Program
ARTICLE

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CBE - Life Sciences Education Volume 15, Number 3, ISSN 1931-7913

Abstract

The Microbiology and Cell Science (MCS) Department at the University of Florida (UF) developed a new model of a 2 + 2 program that uses a hybrid online approach to bring its science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) curriculum to students. In this paradigm, 2-year graduates transfer as online students into the Distance Education in MCS (DE MCS) bachelor of science program. The program has broadened access to STEM with a steadily increasing enrollment that does not draw students away from existing on-campus programs. Notably, half of the DE MCS students are from underrepresented minority (URM) backgrounds and two-thirds are women, which represents a greater level of diversity than the corresponding on-campus cohort and the entire university. Additionally, the DE MCS cohort has comparable retention and academic performance compared with the on-campus transfer cohort. Of those who have earned a BS through the DE MCS program, 71% are women and 61% are URM. Overall, these data demonstrate that the hybrid online approach is successful in increasing diversity and provides another viable route in the myriad of STEM pathways. As the first of its kind in a STEM field, the DE MCS program serves as a model for programs seeking to broaden their reach.

Citation

Drew, J.C., Galindo-Gonzalez, S., Ardissone, A.N. & Triplett, E.W. (2016). Broadening Participation of Women and Underrepresented Minorities in STEM through a Hybrid Online Transfer Program. CBE - Life Sciences Education, 15(3),. Retrieved November 17, 2019 from .

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