Icon for: Claire Duggan


Northeastern University, Clark Atlanta University, Massachusetts Bay Community College

S-POWER Student Pathways Opening World Energy Resources (S-POWER)

NSF Awards: 1564653

2018 (see original presentation & discussion)

Undergraduate, Graduate

Northeastern University researchers have received a $5 million grant from the National Science Foundation to establish an innovative scholarship and mentoring program that supports college transfer students from underrepresented backgrounds who are studying and doing research in energy. The pedagogy Northeastern develops through the new program can serve as a national model for educating and supporting college students through the transfer process.

The five-year program—called Student Pathways Opening World Energy Resources, or S-POWER—aligns with a national imperative to increase workforce diversity in STEM fields and the energy sector. According to the NSF, the program seeks to address two primary national crises: the extremely low persistence rate of underrepresented minority transfer students from two- or four-year institutions that don’t offer degrees in STEM to institutions that do grant degrees in STEM, and the need for fundamental research and training in energy-related fields in order to prepare a new generation of energy experts.

The vision of S-POWER is to revolutionize the pedagogy with which colleges and universities successfully educate transfer students, particularly those with financial need as well as those who are underrepresented minorities, female, and first-generation students.

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Discussion from the 2018 STEM for All Video Showcase (12 posts)
  • Icon for: Claire Duggan

    Claire Duggan

    Lead Presenter
    Director, The Center for STEM Education
    May 14, 2018 | 08:34 a.m.


    Thank you in advance for taking the time to watch our S-POWER video.  We are in the process of identification and recruitment of our next cohort of S-STEM S-POWER scholars.  Through our efforts, we are building a community of practice across our college to support a diverse cohort of undergraduate and graduate engineering students.  Program efforts at Northeastern University are complemented with S-POWER scholars efforts at each of our partner institutions including Clark Atlanta University, Hampton University, MassBay, Middlesex and Northern Essex Community Colleges.

    We look forward to answering questions you might have regarding this program in addition to learning about other S-STEM efforts.

    Award Abstract #1564653 
    Student Pathways Opening World Energy Resources (S-POWER) Award Abstract #1564653

    Claire Duggan (Co-Principal Investigator) Lead Presenter

    Richard Harris (Co-Principal Investigator)
    Marilyn Minus (Co-Principal Investigator)

    Investigator(s): Bradley Lehman l (Principal Investigator)
    Khalil Shujaee (Co-Principal Investigator)


    S-POWER Program Leadership





  • Icon for: Jessica Chapman

    Jessica Chapman

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 14, 2018 | 11:36 a.m.

    Thank you for your great video! Can you tell us a little about some of your program supports and program effectiveness (e.g., retention rates, etc.)?

  • Icon for: Claire Duggan

    Claire Duggan

    Lead Presenter
    Director, The Center for STEM Education
    May 14, 2018 | 11:40 a.m.

    The program supports include but is not limited to the following:

    1. Summer Bridge

    2. Weekly meetings

    3. Tutoring

    4. Supplemental Instruction

    5. "Guaranteed 4.0"

    6. Research opportunities through collaborative REU site

    In addition leadership and several current NU students have shared their experience from the partner institution through classroom visits and formal presentations.

  • Icon for: Jay Labov

    Jay Labov

    May 14, 2018 | 01:19 p.m.

    Thank you for producing this inspiring video. I had the same questions about the details of the program that were posed by Jessica Chapman. In addition, I'd ask you to say more about how you established the relationships with the other colleges and universities in your partnership, and how these different institutions interact with your program at Northeastern in policy- and decision making about the future of the program.

    I also would be interested in knowing:

    - the percentage of engineering students at Northeastern who are part of this initiative,

    - your current thoughts for sustaining the initiative after funding from NSF ends, and

    - how the evidence-based lessons learned from S-POWER is being utilized by the College of Engineering to make the features of the program available to a broader array of engineering students in the College, and

    - what features of this program do you think might be generally applicable to other parts of the university (am I correct in assuming that there are likely similar kinds of S-STEM programs in the sciences)?

  • Icon for: Claire Duggan

    Claire Duggan

    Lead Presenter
    Director, The Center for STEM Education
    May 14, 2018 | 02:01 p.m.


    S-POWER is a new grant.  It does, however, build from previous S-STEM efforts at Northeastern University and also other partnership efforts. 

    Several of us on the leadership team were part of Investing in Tomorrow’s Engineering Leaders (ITEL)

    • This was a scholarship program providing financially needy students a scholarship and various other resources. It was in collaboration with the Bernard M. Gordon Center for Subsurface Sensing and Imaging Systems. NSF Award #0849804

    Key program components of ITEL can be found at https://stem.neu.edu/programs/past/itel/

    We have incorporated many of the program elements launched in this previous S-STEM in addition to integrating collaborate grants such as a newly funded REU site to ensure offering many of the program elements we believe to be essential. 

    A full list of our S-POWER scholars at NU and at our partner institutions can be found at https://web.northeastern.edu/spower/people/recipients

    As you will see many of the scholarship recipients are at our partner institutions.  A subset of those students will transition to Northeastern. 

    Evidence-based practices such as Summer Bridge SI, Early Warning systems, tutoring etc. have been institutionalized within our college. 

    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Danielle Watt
  • Icon for: Jay Labov

    Jay Labov

    May 16, 2018 | 10:57 a.m.

    Thanks, Claire. I'm sure that this additional information and the links will be helpful to others who view your video.


  • Icon for: Danielle Watt

    Danielle Watt

    Director of Education, Outreach, & Diversity
    May 15, 2018 | 05:31 p.m.

    Thank you for sharing such a great program! I appreciate hearing the students' perspective. Since you have had success with various mentoring programs, are there plans to have this model expanded to include other disciplines at NU or your partner institutions? 

  • Icon for: Whitney Erby

    Whitney Erby

    Doctoral Student
    May 15, 2018 | 09:19 p.m.

    Hi Claire!

    It was great to watch this amazing video! Could you talk a little bit more about the guaranteed 4.0 aspect of the program? Does this mean that students don't receive letter grades? It seems like that would remove some of the stress and pressure that may inhibit learning as well as progression through STEM coursework. 

  • Icon for: Claire Duggan

    Claire Duggan

    Lead Presenter
    Director, The Center for STEM Education
    May 16, 2018 | 07:51 a.m.

    Thank you.  No, Guaranteed 4.0 is a formalized support program our COE has integrated into the SummerBridge Program and S-POWER. 


  • Icon for: Claire Duggan

    Claire Duggan

    Lead Presenter
    Director, The Center for STEM Education
    May 16, 2018 | 07:28 a.m.

    We will share successful models of practice with faculty across our campus.  Our initial S-STEM grant, ITEL was shared with faculty for example in the College of Science that led to awarding of other S-STEM grants such as the following. 

    Mathematics and Science Talent Scholarships
    Award Number:1060555; Principal Investigator:Donald King; Co-Principal Investigator:Robert Case; Organization: Northeastern University;NSF Organization:DUE Start Date:07/01/2011; Award Amount:$599,710.00; Relevance:79.8;   in addition, our College of Computer Science is moving forward with the following,
    Bridging the Gap from a Non-Computer Science Bachelors to the Masters in Computer Science
    Award Number:1643843; Principal Investigator:Leena Razzaq; Co-Principal Investigator:AMIT SHESH; Organization:Northeastern University;NSF Organization:DUE Start Date:03/01/2017; Award Amount:$997,781.00; Relevance:78.97;

    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Danielle Watt
  • May 16, 2018 | 09:27 p.m.

    Very interesting!

    Can you speak to some of the programming that you do with the community college partners and the outcomes of those programs?

  • Icon for: Claire Duggan

    Claire Duggan

    Lead Presenter
    Director, The Center for STEM Education
    May 17, 2018 | 08:22 a.m.

    We have been engaged with several Community College partners involved with the S-POWER grant for a number of years.  Partnership efforts have included but not limited to the following.

    1. NSF -RET opportunities at NU for CC faculty. 

    2. NSF -REU opportunities for CC students.

    3. NSF - STEP grant that providing professional development for partner CC's in Supplemental Instruction.

    4. (NSF ERC) Professional development and support to facilitate replication of engineering course content.

    5. NSF -ATE Collaborative effort in Advanced Manufacturing

    These grant efforts have laid the foundation for very strong partnerships.

  • Further posting is closed as the event has ended.

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