COD STEM Student Success Program Helps Underserved Students

News at College of DuPage

By Mike McKissackCollege of DuPage is increasing educational and career opportunities in science, technology,
engineering and math (STEM) for traditionally underserved students through its STEM
Student Success program.Funded by a $650,000 National Science Foundation grant and aimed toward academically
successful students with demonstrated financial need, the program features a dedicated
STEM Student Success Coach and provides individualized academic, advising and career
support through case management, counseling, guided study groups, faculty mentoring
and cohort-based courses and tutoring. In addition, STEM Student Success program participants
have access to enhanced educational opportunities including internships, job shadowing,
industry networking, speakers bureau events and undergraduate research opportunities.For Jesus “Jay” Avitia, the program was a great first step toward a career in civil
engineering.“The STEM Student Success program is a great tool that definitely helps you in the
search for success,” the Wheaton resident said. “You get the opportunity to attend
interesting seminars, meet interesting people and successful alumni in a face-to-face
environment and participate in interesting internships. The program also allows you
to connect with other students that are walking the same path as you.”Avitia is transferring to the University of Illinois at Chicago next spring to pursue
a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, a choice he said will provide him the best
of his lifelong interest in architecture and engineering. Upon graduating UIC, he
hopes to work in the field and gain experience, eventually returning to school to
earn a Master’s degree and certifications in structural engineering and subsequently
working as an engineering consultant.“The STEM Student Success program helped me realize that there is opportunity out
there; it is just a matter of trying,” Avitia said. “The program also gave me the
opportunity to meet the right people in my education path, as well as helping me make
the connection with my transfer university, UIC.”Avitia’s advice …

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