P1.78 Wednesday, Jan. 4 STEP into Science at Medgar Evers College, a Successful Strategic Plan CARROLL, M.A.*; SKEETE, D.; CATAPANE, E.J.; Medgar Evers College, Brooklyn, NY; Medgar Evers College, Brooklyn, NY; Medgar Evers College, Brooklyn, NY firstname.lastname@example.org
STEP into Science was designed to increase the number of students earning BS degrees in Biology and Environmental Science. Our program is an interdisciplinary effort between the Depts. of Biology and Physical, Environmental and Computer Sciences with goals to: (1) recruit new students and non-STEM students from within the college who select majors in either Biology, or Environmental Sciences; (2) improve retention of science majors by providing academic, financial and mentoring support; (3) strengthen both departments with curricula to fosters integration of research, technology and academics to better equip majors with skills and knowledge necessary to be successful applicants to graduate/professional programs; and (4) increase the number of students graduating with BS degrees in Biology or Environmental Science, and ultimately enter rewarding careers in the science enterprise. Now in our fifth year, the program has had great success implementing the use of peer recruiters to attract more high school, transfer, and non-science college students into STEM majors and places emphasis on the role of undergraduate research experiences as a successful strategy to increase the quality and retention of science majors through their BS degree. Since the inception of the program, STEM enrollment more than doubled and the number of majors actively engaged in research has risen more than 90% with a concurrent increase in student research presentations at scientific conference, and an 87% increase in the number of students receiving external research internships and travel awards to attend national conferences. STEM graduates have also increased and the program anticipates that these and future STEP into Science graduates will continue on to Masters and Doctoral programs in STEM and ultimately enter rewarding careers in the science enterprise.