Results

Evidence of Success

Our longest running place-based learning community, the Klamath Connection, has helped Latinx students succeed.  Comparison of Latinx students in the first three Klamath Connection cohorts to matched students not in the Klamath Connection (matched on STEM major, high school GPA, Hispanic, First-Gen, Math preparedness, and AP units), shows that the program significantly improved students’ sense of belong and academic achievement:

  • Stronger sense of belonging (composite Mapworks survey score; 5.49 vs. 5.31)
  • More units earned in 1st year (27.8 vs. 24.3)
  • Higher 1st year GPAs (2.85 vs. 2.65)
  • Higher rates of Gateway course completion (especially in Bot, Chem, and Math 113/101)
  • Higher 1st year retention at HSU (81% vs. 73%) and in STEM specifically (78% vs.65%)
  • Eliminated gap in STEM retention between Latinx students and their non-Hispanic counterparts in KC

Similar patterns exist for all students of color and for all students overall.

In addition, over the life of the five-year grant $336,000 are budgeted for student wages, and so far over 60% of these student employees have been Latinx students.

See a 2-page summary of the grant’s latest activities and findings.

Equity Gaps

American higher education is fraught with inequity. While six of the ten top-ranked universities in the world operate within the US, access to higher education lags far behind other countries; the US ranks 13th in the world in the percentage of 25-34-year olds with a higher education degree. Moreover, college completion rates in the US continue to be tied disproportionately to race and ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and family history in higher education. For example, there is a 20% gap in the rate of black and Latinx students earning credentials compared to white and Asian students, and these gaps are even larger in science, technology, engineering, and math fields (STEM). Closing these equity gaps is both a moral imperative and essential to improve science, by bringing in a wider range of voices and viewpoints. Broader reforms are urgently needed to disrupt the status quo and substantively re-imagine how campuses welcome and support all STEM students. This grant aims to make a difference.

An important goal of the grant is to remove equity gaps in the percentage of students who come to HSU majoring in STEM and are still enrolled at HSU and still majoring in STEM one year later (called “STEM 1st Year Retention”). The graph below shows that in our longest-running place-based-learning community, the Klamath Connection, gaps in STEM Retention have been nearly eliminated.

First-year STEM Retention of students in the Klamath Connection

First-year STEM Retention of students in the Klamath Connection (learning community) and matched students not in the Klamath Connection (reference). Data are disaggregated by students in a traditionally underrepresented group (URG) and their counterparts (non-URG).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another important goal of the grant is to remove equity gaps in students’ achievement in core STEM courses. The graph below shows that in the Klamath Connection, gaps in passing rates between underrepresented students and their non-underrepresented counterparts have been reduced or eliminated in several courses.

Gateway Course Success

Gateway Course Success First-year grade outcomes in key STEM courses for students in the Klamath Connection (learning community) and matched students not in the Klamath Connection (reference). Data are disaggregated by students in a traditionally underrepresented group (URG) and their counterparts (non-URG).

 

 

 

 



We are also tracking equity gaps in institution-wide data, as aligned with Graduation Initiative 2025.  The following line charts – data from OIE – show retention and graduation rates for first-time undergraduates and transfer students entering as STEM majors; data are disaggregated by whether students are from an underrepresented group, a first-generation college student, or a low-income student.  See OIE the glossary of terms.  The dates shown are for the term of graduation or the term of retention (e.g., 4-year graduation rate for Spring 2018 is for students who started in the Fall 2014 cohort; 1st year retention in Fall 2018 is for students who started in Fall 2017, and so on).

4-yr graduation rate, STEM students

6-yr graduation rate, STEM students

4-yr graduation rate, STEM transfer students

2-yr graduation rate, STEM transfer students

1st-year institutional retention, STEM students

 



Students in collecting data at a river