Message from the IDEA Faculty Director
he IDEA Engineering Student Center was created to foster an inclusive and welcoming community, increase retention rates, and promote a sustainable culture of academic excellence among all engineering students at UC San Diego. Since its inception, the IDEA Center has introduced a number of programs that contribute to student success, including the engineering learning communities; weekly academic, professional, and technical workshops; specialized courses on learning and engineering design; programs that foster degree completion; a series of mentorship programs; summer success programs, the continued expansion of new student organizations, and development workshops for our student leaders.
Our vision of student success goes beyond simply graduating students. We aim for academic achievement, full participation in all programs and learning experiences the school has to offer, and support so that our graduates are well-positioned for launching a professional career or pursuing an advanced degree. We present this strategic plan to define the focus and efforts of the IDEA Center for the next three years, in the hopes that some of you may recognize areas of synergy and approach us with potential collaborative opportunities.
These programs, and many other efforts by our faculty, staff and students, continue to enhance the culture of inclusion at the Jacobs School of Engineering, increase the percentage of underrepresented students among our student body, and continuously improve the graduation rates of our engineering students. At the IDEA Center, we are committed to student success and see it as an integral piece of our comprehensive efforts to enhance the quality of the educational experience of our students. As the Faculty Director of the Center, I strongly encourage all students to take advantage of the services the Center has to offer and to foster a climate that celebrates diversity, equity, and inclusion for students, faculty, and staff. Olivia A. Graeve, Ph.D. IDEA Engineering Student Center Faculty Director
I | Message from Dr. Graeve
Meet the Team
Gennie Miranda Director of Operations
Ryan Fane Student Program Coordinator
Ruben D. Rodriguez Student Program Coordinator
Jessica Baldis Academic Success Coordinator
Sinai Cota Sloan Scholars Program Assistant
Marina Banach IDEA Student Center Coordinator
Meet the Team | II
To foster an inclusive and welcoming community, increase retention and graduation rates, and promote a sustainable culture of academic excellence among all engineering students at UC San Diego.
To provide engineering students with academic support and social engagement that enhances values of diversity for a global community.
• To increase retention and graduation rates among our diverse engineering student population • Provide student-centered services that promote academic success • Foster a supportive and inclusive environment for all engineering students • Develop engineering leaders who are civic-minded
1 | Who are we?
Who Do We Serve?
The IDEA Engineering Student Center supports all students within the Jacobs School of Engineering. In addition to offering programs that promote an inclusive and welcoming environment for the Jacobs School of Engineering, the IDEA Center offers specific and intentional programs that support underrepresented student populations within engineering. These populations include students who identify as first-generation, low-income, or underrepresented on the basis of their ethnic background, gender, or sexual orientation. The IDEA Engineering Student Center firmly believes supporting underrepresented students creates a more dynamic and engaging experience for all students within the Jacobs School of Engineering. In addition to fulfilling one of many Jacobs School of Engineering goals, creating a diverse and inclusive environment enables students to increase their human and intellectual capital, while driving innovation for the benefit of all society.
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3 | New Programs
Undergraduate Research Program In 2019, the IDEA Center will be launching the Undergraduate Research Program. Based on the model developed by Dr. Christine Alvarado in the Computer Science and Engineering department, the program will connect second-year engineering students with research opportunities in engineering faculty labs throughout the Jacobs School of Engineering. Students participating in the program will take a research-focused seminar taught by a graduate student or post-doc during fall quarter that will provide them with the conceptual and technical skills they need to succeed in a research environment. They will also receive guidance in developing their research interests and generate a research proposal. During winter quarter, students will then be matched with a faculty mentor and begin working in their lab as an undergraduate researcher. The program will emphasize mentorship at all stages of the program. Faculty that host program participants in their lab will provide mentorship and support to their students. Additionally, the instructor of their fall course will continue to serve as mentor throughout the academic year. Together, these mentors will help guide students to productive and enriching research experiences and provide additional structure beyond what typical undergraduate researchers can expect. This program will facilitate under-served studentsâ€™ access to research opportunities in all six departments of the Jacobs School. It will also serve to promote research as a viable career path for these students, and help expand their access to graduate education after completing their undergraduate degrees. The IDEA Engineering Student Center expects to welcome approximately 40 students into the program during the first year, with steady expansion of the program occurring in subsequent years.
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5 | New Programs
Academic Achievement Program As part of undergraduate engineering retention efforts, the IDEA Engineering Student Center will implement the Academic Achievement Program. In looking at the number of cases of undergraduate engineering students either on academic probation or subject to disqualification in JSOE, there is a need to develop a program to assist them. The Academic Achievement Program will consist of academic intervention early in the quarter and throughout the quarter that will allow time and opportunity for students to reverse patterns of performance and behavior. The program will enhance engineering student success by providing academic services/resources to students. As part of this program, and with the support of the instructors and teaching assistants, we will identify students at first instance (e.g., first homework set, first quiz) when they may be faltering with the course material. The purpose is to identify the reasons and develop an approach that will quickly change course outcomes for the positive. Throughout the course, students will receive timely feedback about how they are performing in the class and what resources are available to ensure their academic success. Early feedback provides students with the time and opportunity to improve their grades and be part of programs and workshops that are catered to their academic success. The program will include seminars to address the academic-related factors resulting in low performance. The program will also connect to other support services on campus that address common non-academic challenges like motivation, fatigue, self-confidence, healthy living, career direction.
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Engineering Learning Communities (ELCs) Engineering Learning Communities (ELCs) are formal, peer-educator-led study groups that bring engineering students into a supportive, environment where they can develop confidence, strengthen study skills, and learn the value of collaborative study. The number and type of courses served by ELCs has been expanding over the past three years and currently includes courses in the Math 20, Physics 2, and Chemistry 6 series. Our goal is to continue to expand ELCs to serve more students through a wider variety of courses offerings. Many students struggle in engineering courses and would benefit from ELCs in these courses. To meet this need, engineering-specific courses will be added to the ELC course offering. We will begin reviewing engineering courses for possible inclusion in the ELC program with the goal of selecting gateway engineering courses that cover material students must master to be successful as they advance through their upper-level engineering courses. The first engineering course that will be piloted as an ELC in Fall 2018 is MAE 130A Mechanics 1: Statics. To facilitate the expansion of ELCs, we will also seek additional space and funding opportunities.
7 | New Programs
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9 | New Programs
FirstGen Initiative The IDEA Center will be joining the UC Systemâ€™s ongoing FirstGen initiative by exploring ways to re-focus its existing programming on supporting first-generation college students. Students that identify as first-generation make up a large percentage of the student body in the Jacobs School of Engineering. The IDEA Center will be exploring ways to better support these students during their time here. First-generation students also report experiencing mental wellbeing issues during their time in college at higher rates than their peers. These students also face academic challenges more frequently than their peers, and often struggle with issues of loneliness and isolation while on campus. At the same time, many first-generation students bring a variety of unique academic, cultural, and social assets to campus that often go unrecognized by universities. In order to address these issues, the IDEA Center will work to enrich the academic and social experience of first-generation students with programs and services that connect them to the Jacobs School community. We will also implement new initiatives that help first-generation students recognize and value the assets and competencies they bring to our campus. Nationwide, first-generation college students graduate at lower rates than peers who have at least one parent with a college degree. While the UC System and the UC San Diego campus currently perform higher than the national average on these metrics, the IDEA Center will make it a priority to provide services and support to bring these metrics in line with those of students who are the first in their family to attend college. Overall, the IDEA Center will prioritize moving toward parity in the retention rates of these two groups over the next three years.
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11 | Developing Programs
Diversity Engineering Student Organizations In addition to continuing to strengthen the partnerships between the diversity student organizations NSBE, SHPE, SWE, WIC, and oSTEM, the IDEA Engineering Student Center will explore ways to better support engineering students from Asian American and Pacific Islander communities.
Triton Engineering Student Council (TESC) After working closely with TESC to further strengthen its executive board structure and overall mission, we look forward to supporting their new initiatives, including Espresso, a start-up career fair, as well as a research lab expo.
Engineering Leadership Summit & Workshops We will continue to offer programs aimed at developing the leadership skills of officers among all engineering student organizations, and strengthening the support framework for these student groups.
Engineering Overnight Program & Breakfast with the Deans Given that these are major yield events for students who are first-generation and/or from underrepresented minority groups, we plan to continue to increase the number of students participating in these programs.
Summer Engineering Institute & Transfer Prep We will continue to increase the number of students participating in these summer programs, thereby better preparing them for a successful transition to their engineering degree.
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ENG 10 ENG 10 will be offered five times throughout the academic year, continuing to provide new undergraduate students with an opportunity to gain hands-on experience with in-demand engineering skill sets as they work in a team with peers from different majors to solve practical engineering problems.
Workshops + Info Sessions for Engineers (WISE) The SWEET workshop suite has been rebranded and restructured to focus on developing transferable skills for engineering students. The new offering, WISE Events, will feature 4-5 tracks that progressively build on each other throughout the year, thereby allowing students to increasingly build on their academic, technical, and personal knowledge and skills.
Transfer Engineering Academic Mentorship (TEAM) As we continue to grow the TEAM program we plan to increase involvement from industry professionals and alumni by inviting their participation in networking with and providing mentorship to engineering transfer students.
Jacobs Undergraduate Mentoring Program (JUMP) As the number of students participating in JUMP grows, we will stay true to this programâ€™s original goal of having a graduate student mentor a small number of undergraduate students in the same discipline. In addition, we will have upperclassmen mentor underclassmen participants, and look into increasing faculty and postdoc involvement as mentors.
Grad Talks continue to attract high attendance among graduate students in engineering. Moving forward, we aim to increase participation from industry professionals as speakers, presenters and facilitators on topics that are valued in the engineering field and workplace.
13 | Developing Programs
ACES Scholars We will continue to develop and improve program components to align with other RedShirt institutions, as well as increase student participation and community identity.
IDEA Scholars The IDEA Scholars program is a very successful retention program for engineering students who are first-generation and/or from underrepresented minority groups. As we continue to see high graduation rates among students participating in this program, the next step will be to invest in programming that will intentionally prepare these students for the workforce or graduate school.
Jacobs Scholars We will continue to strengthen the Jacobs Scholar community as we incorporate more cohort-building events and activities in this program. We also look forward to holding a 20th anniversary event for Jacobs Scholar alumni and supporters of this program.
Matching Funds & Travel Fund We intend to increase the size of the funding pool, increase maximum amount awarded to individuals, and continue to fund diversity student organizationsâ€™ conference travel.
Ring Cermony We continue to offer graduating undergraduate engineering students a great send-off through this unique annual event that celebrates their entry into the professional world of engineering as they reiterate their commitment to practicing engineering with ethics and integrity.
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Explore the IDEA Engineering Student Center Strategic Plan for 2018-2021