Student Voices - STEM Program, Fresno Pacific University

Since 2010, the STEM program at Fresno Pacific University (FPU) has been a learning community designed to support Latino, first-generation, and low-income students seeking a degree in STEM. The various program components include: a weeklong, residential Summer Bridge program that takes place before college freshmen year begins; a learning community with a focus on four common courses during the first two semesters; Supplemental Instruction (SI) in core gatekeeper courses; STEM faculty and peer mentoring; a career counselor focused on STEM careers, job shadowing, internships; and a STEM Study Lab outfitted with textbooks, computers, supplies, and space for collaborative learning.   
The mission of the STEM program is to increase bachelor degree attainment among Latino, first-generation, and low-income students by fostering success in core courses and promoting retention to the second year. They look to foster networking and relationships through learning communities; institutionalize their program components to raise success of high-risk students across the campus; develop students who see themselves as capable of positively impacting their world; and help students understand the benefits of a university education in culturally sensitive ways.