IDEA Engineering Student Center
LOOKING BACK & LOOKING FORWARD Letter From IDEA Engineering Student Center Faculty Director
In 2020, the IDEA Engineering Student
Center celebrated its 10th anniversary. Since its inception, the IDEA Center has become the nexus for student community in the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego, and a model for student success centers across the United States. Through its more than 20 programs and thousands of students who participate in our programs each year, the IDEA Center supports the academic, professional, and personal flourishing of a highly diverse student body. Our programs include peer-led engineering learning communities; weekly academic, professional, and technical workshops; earlyintervention training for instructional assistance; programs that reduce time to degree; a series of mentorship programs; the continued expansion of new student organizations; and our signature program for freshmen, the Summer Engineering Institute. These programs 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. A key to our success as a center is continuous evaluation and self-improvement. Every three years, we take stock of each one of our programs and begin a strategic planning process. Our 10 year anniversary was an inflection point to take an even deeper dive. In the fall of 2020, with the help of the Office of Operational Strategic Initiatives, 1 | Introductory Letter from Dr. Lipomi
we conducted a series of workshops and interviews that involved representatives from all stakeholders: faculty, staff, students, alumni, industrial advisors, and community leaders. Additionally, IDEA Center staff held subsequent planning meetings to inventory our programs, as well as to craft mission and strategic goal statements that reflect the breadth, depth, and future aspirations for our work. As a result of this process, we developed a plan that leveraged our strengths and identified new opportunities for growth or realignment. We present this strategic plan to the community to delineate the redesigned vision, mission and goals of the IDEA Center, along with new opportunities with which we will soon be engaged. It is our hope that some of you may find synergy with our activities and reach out to us with ways that we might work together.
Darren Lipomi, PhD Faculty Director IDEA Engineering Student Center
MEET THE TEAM
Gennie Miranda Director of Operations
Alejandra Arguelles Program Coordinator
Lisa Trahan Director of Strategic Initiatives and Assessment
Ruben D. Rodriguez Program Coordinator
Sinai Cota Sloan Scholars Program Assistant
Jessica Baldis Academic Success Coordinator
Sara Eckardt Operations and Events Coordinator Meet the Team | 2
STRATEGIC Student Success Goal Promote sustained student involvement with campus and Jacobs School resources and opportunities to support students’ retention, graduation, development, and satisfaction with their engineering experience through the following areas: Academic Excellence/Support, Career Exploration/Professional Development, Community Building, Mentorship, and Wellness. The IDEA Center collaborates with campus partners to increase student participation in opportunities that promote their success. The IDEA Center may directly provide select engineering-specific opportunities if a comparable student benefit cannot be gained through partnership with other units on campus.
Promote academic success by increasing students’ awareness of, access to, and participation in academic support programs and resources related to fundamental knowledge and skills, coursework, and techniques for becoming a more effective engineering student to help them achieve their personal academic goals.
Create opportunities for students to establish and grow a network of peers, faculty, and staff that will support their continued academic, professional, and personal success. Promote student engagement with multiple communities to help students find the opportunities that give them a sense of belonging where they feel safe and comfortable with others, such as identitybased groups, engineering departments, research labs, student organizations/project teams, etc.
Career Exploration & Professional Development
Encourage students to explore and understand the spectrum of engineering career options to develop informed career aspirations. Promote engagement in concrete activities that further their professional development towards their goals (e.g., resumes, applying to research/ internships, student organizations/project teams, graduate school).
Connect students with peer, faculty, graduate student, postdoctoral, industry, and staff mentors who are prepared to provide academic, professional, and personal guidance. Mentorship is essential to successfully making transitions to and succeeding at UC San Diego as well as in future educational opportunities and professional milestones.
Foster a culture that has a nuanced understanding of student wellness and balances self-care with academic pursuits through self-awareness and participation in opportunities that support stress management and overall mental health. 3 | Strategic Goals
GOALS Inclusive Community Goal Provide access to opportunities for students to build a sense of belonging among engineering student peers, within their department and the Jacobs School, and in the engineering field. All IDEA Center programs are designed with equity and inclusion in mind to encourage participation of students from all backgrounds and ensure that students feel supported to be their whole selves within the Jacobs School community. Provide multiple entry points into IDEA Center, campus, and Jacobs School programming and resources.
Collaborative Partnerships Goal Collaborate with key partners to provide a network of support for engineering students through the development of and access to effective programming and unique services for engineering students.
Inclusive Academic Climate Goal Engage faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students in perpetuating a culture that is student-centered and inclusive in all aspects of academic interactions, including within classrooms, research labs, and mentorship.
Branding/Marketing Goal Raise the profile of the IDEA Center among students, across the University, and with external partners and colleagues as a comprehensive engineering student success center with a track record in effectively supporting equity, community and student success. Strategic Goals | 4
In addition to continuing to expand and strengthen our current programming, we have identified the following strategic initiatives for 2021-2024:
CONTRIBUTE to an inclusive academic climate Academic Achievement Program
The concept for the Academic Achievement Program (AAP) has shifted from an academic early warning system to building a learning community among instructional teams to support undergraduate student success. Future AAP activities will hone the program activities and deepen the learning community.
To further support the professional development of graduate students as mentors to undergraduate students, we will curate learning opportunities and resources and provide recognition for their accomplishments in mentorship.
GROW & SUSTAIN access to pipeline opportunities Summer Engineering Institute (SEI) Scholarships
We aim to secure additional funding to provide scholarships to SEI participants, including an expanded cohort of IDEA Scholars.
5 | Strategic Initiatives
Guided Engineering Apprenticeship in Research (GEAR) Summer Research Scholarships & Internship Opportunities
We hope to secure funding for GEAR participants to extend their participation in research through a paid summer research experience and explore avenues for matching GEAR participants with a subsequent industry internship opportunity.
GROW RECOGNITION &through IMPACT dissemination of educational content We hope to grow recognition and expand impact with the launch of the IDEAs in STEM Ed podcast by Prof. Darren Lipomi, availability of various program content on our Youtube channel, and new ways of disseminating program activities and impact on our website and social media channels.
through assesment and reporting
Activities will include launching an annual survey series for IDEA Scholars, continuing analysis and dissemination of findings from the IDEA Center Undergraduate Engineering Student Success research study, and aligning success metrics with campus priorities.
Strategic Initiatives | 6
COLLECTIVE IMPACT PRIORITY AREAS 7 | Collective Impact Priority Areas
The IDEA Center strategic planning process also identified areas of high importance that require a collective impact approach across the Jacobs School of Engineering and campus more broadly. We advocate for adressing these areas in the near future.
GR ADUATE STUDENT SUCCESS We propose an effort to look holistically at the needs of graduate students in the following areas of student success: academic excellence/support, career exploration/professional development, community building, mentorship, and wellness. Additionally, the specific topics of providing improved Teaching Assistant training and mentorship for graduate students emerged.
OUTREACH-FOR -RECRUITMENT We propose an effort to inventory existing outreach and recruitment efforts and create a school-wide strategy that leverages partnerships with existing efforts for undergraduate and graduate students.
Collective Impact Priority Areas | 8
IDEA Engineering Student Center UC San Diego 9500 Gilman Drive, MC 0429 La Jolla, CA 92093-0429 (858) 534-6105 email@example.com
Bear, 2005 by artist Tim Hawkinson Stuart Collection, UC San Diego