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NSF grant supports Rutgers-Camden program for science majors
Date:10/26/2009

CAMDEN Contrary to a national trend, more and more students at Rutgers UniversityCamden are signing up to major in math and science. Thanks to a $307,277 grant from the National Science Foundation, these (and future) students in the sciences at RutgersCamden will receive unprecedented support throughout their undergraduate years to the successful completion of their degrees.

Through a new RutgersCamden program titled Q-STEP, (Quantitative-STEM Talent Expansion Program, with "STEM" referring to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), select first-year students enrolled in biology, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, and physics will be provided with special programming throughout their four-year education that includes extra social support, increased chance for group study and problem solving, and assigned academic advisors. A major goal of Q-STEP is to increase by 25% the graduation rates of STEM majors at RutgersCamden.

Numerous organizations across the country have been working to increase retention and success in these disciplines at the undergraduate level, including NSF's own Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Talent Expansion Program. While RutgersCamden has had huge increases in these majors, which in itself breaks the national trend, Q-STEP seeks to better retain these students and ensure full completion of the program.

"In the last five years at RutgersCamden, African American, Latino, and women in the science and mathematics majors have increased greatly, by 108%," says Joseph V. Martin, a professor of biology at RutgersCamden, of the campus experience. The principal investigator of the study, he attributes the increase to Rutgers' extensive outreach to its host city's high schools and community colleges. "However, the numbers of graduates in these disciplines increased more slowly by 10%," notes Martin.

Other RutgersCamden researchers involved in Q-STEP as co-principal investi
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Contact: Cathy Donovan
catkarm@camden.rutgers.edu
856-225-6627
Rutgers University
Source:Eurekalert

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