The Science Educational Enhancement Services (SEES) Department is against recommendation #6, Learning Coalition (Support Programs P&R Recommendations). SEES is college-based, and its goal is to support, retain, and graduate diverse students in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields. Data submitted in the original report demonstrates that SEES achieves its goal. Therefore, for maximum effectiveness, SEES needs to remain in the College of Science. SEES provides a supportive learning community for STEM students as well as opportunities for academic support, leadership training, professional development, networking, career advisement and community outreach. SEES has significantly different goals than the other programs, except Maximizing Engineering Potential, MEP.
Nationwide there is a shortage of underrepresented minorities (URM) in STEM fields. It is a well-documented fact that retention and graduation of STEM students, especially those from URM groups, depend upon a number of factors that can only be found in college-based programs:
Strong student-faculty interaction SEES students receive one-on-one advising from faculty in the College of Science; students attend professional conferences with faculty.
Presence of role models SEES lower division students are constantly interacting with upper division students through academic excellence workshops and tutoring, and in the SEES study and computer rooms. They meet faculty informally in the SEES area, as well as in social settings and travel to professional meetings with them.
Professional development SEES students are eligible for support to carry out research, attend professional meetings (with faculty members), and for support for graduate/professional school preparatory courses, the GRE, and application fees.
Leadership development SEES students have the opportunity to participate in our facilitator training for the academic excellence workshop program.
Academic Excellence Workshop (AEW) program SEES students participate in this program to improve their grades; it is not a remedial program. Our data show that those students who participate in AEWs increase their grade by about 0.5 above class average.
Since 1999, the SEES program has received significant external funding from agencies such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Science Foundation (NSF), The California Endowment Foundation, The California Wellness Foundation, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), and the Department of Education: Womens Educational Equity Act (WEEA).
External funding for the SEES program during the current academic year are the following:
The California Wellness, $70,000; HHMI, $40,000; WEEA $60,000; NSF, $10,000 giving a total of $180,000.