Northridge: CSUN Mentoring Gives Students ACCESS to Engineering and Computer Science
CSU Northridge began a partnership in 2007 with local high schools to promote pre-engineering and computer science to students. The Accelerated Coursework in Computer Science and Engineering for Student Success (ACCESS) Program provides high school students with the opportunity to interact with both CSUN faculty and current CSUN engineering and computer science students.
ACCESS program success starts with the teachers. High school teachers commit to a day-long, in-service workshop during the summer, bringing together new and veteran participants. They are challenged to develop and assess learning outcomes, find ways to improve retention and recruitment efforts, and develop techniques for supervising student-led projects through a collaboration with CSUN faculty. This training prepares them to conduct MSE101, an online, interactive Introduction to Engineering college-credit course that ACCESS students take at the beginning of the year. This course is offered once a week and is supplemented by a hands-on laboratory which has students building VEX robotics kits. This learning activity allows them to visualize the theory in their coursework. Engineering lectures also cover principles such as the design process, spreadsheet development, and basic engineering cornerstones. The course also highlights qualities that are significant to college success, such as study skills and time management.
Each fall semester, students are invited to enroll at Cal State Northridge through the university's Talented High School Program (THP). The ACCESS course is available through the THP at a cost of $189.50 per student. Cal State Northridge asks each student to make a $30 contribution toward enrollment to ensure a vested interest in their own success. The college awards $159.50 in the form of a scholarship to each participant. ACCESS students are invited to the CSUN campus to experience university life, take guided tours, utilize resources at the Oviatt Library, and collaborate with CSUN students. They become members of the CSUN community, receiving official CSU Northridge Identification cards. Teachers leading the ACCESS course are also welcomed into the community, earning the ranking of adjunct faculty and receiving a small compensation for their work with the program.
involving early interest in engineering and math:
CSU Fullerton's project Mathematics Intensive Summer Session (MISS), now in its 23rd summer, is a voluntary four-week summer program, designed to help underrepresented high school girls succeed in college preparatory mathematics at the Algebra II level and above.
The Accelerated Coursework in Computer Science and Engineering for Student Success (ACCESS) program provides high school students with the opportunity to interact with both CSU Northridge faculty and current CSU Northridge engineering and computer science students who serve as mentors.
Following Reading, wRiting, and aRithmetic, Robotics is gaining steam as the fourth "R" in education. Dr. Jawa Mariappan's School Robotics class offers engineering students and faculty the opportunity to visit local K-12 schools to train schoolteachers and mentor students in robotics through a variety of weekly hands-on activities.
At San José State, mentoring and service are at the core of student success. Engineering students enrolled in Community Action and Service, an engineering service-learning course led by Dr. Stacy Gleixner, volunteer at one of six local high schools through Project Lead the Way.
CSU Stanislaus students are helping elementary school children and their parents become math literate in their local shopping mall. By offering math homework help and enticing elementary students and their parents to play math board games and puzzles twice a week in the afternoons, Dr. Viji Sundar and her undergraduate students who are Math/Liberal Studies majors have been increasing math literacy in their community.