NH BIOMADE HELPS COMMUNITY COLLEGE STUDENTS TRANSFER TO FOUR-YEAR PROGRAMS
To improve the recruitment and retention of underrepresented groups in biomaterials and advanced manufacturing in New Hampshire, the NH BioMade Transfer Scholars program was created to support community college students interested in attaining a four-year degree in a NH BioMade-related discipline. Six students were supported in the 2019 – 2020 academic year.
WHAT IS THE IMPACT?
Community colleges serve a diverse student population. The NH BioMade Transfer Scholars program, an integral component of this NSF EPSCoR project’s education and workforce development initiatives, was able to support six students from underrepresented groups transition from community college to four-year institutions.
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The NH BioMade Transfer Scholars Program provides financial and mentorship support to four female students at the University of New Hampshire in Durham (one bioengineering major, three mechanical engineering majors) and to two female students at the University of New Hampshire in Manchester (biotechnology majors). All six are from underrepresented groups and participated in mentorship activities. The overall grade point average of these students after their first semester was a 3.7, demonstrating that community college students can be academically prepared to be competitive at four-year universities.
Outreach activities performed by the scholars is another key component to the program. These students visited Great Bay Community College, Manchester Community College, Nashua Community College, and NHTI-Concord’s Community College to recruit diverse students for NH BioMade education and workforce development programs. Scholars presented the programs and their experiences to over 120 students from different Community Colleges in NH.
Since the program's inception in 2019, 13 female community college students (54% of all transfer scholars) have become NH BioMade Transfer Scholars. Ten have graduated, receiving their bachelor's degrees in STEM disciplines. Two female students are currently transfer scholars and are pursuing their 4-year degrees. Graduated students have gone on to pursue advanced degrees and are working as engineers and bioscientists. One former transfer scholar is a NH high school mathematics teacher.
This program is made possible by an award to the New Hampshire Center for Multiscale Modeling and Manufacturing of Biomaterials (NH BioMade), an NSF EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement Track-1 project (#1757371).
Written by: Steve Hale, Leitzel Center, UNH; Allison Wasiewski, NH EPSCoR
Photo: Jeremy Gasowski, UNH