The S-STEM Flit-GAP (Florida IT Graduation Attainment Pathways) project will recruit, retain, and guide students to success as it will help dedicated scholars graduate and find a professional pathway. The project will provide scholarships along with giving curricular and co-curricular support to academically talented but financially challenged students in the computing disciplines at FIU, UCF, and USF.
The goals of the project are to:
- Increase retention, student success, and graduation of students who pursue a degree in the Computer Science, Information Technology, Cybersecurity, and Computer Engineering disciplines;
- Create a hybrid (physical-virtual) learning community that spans the three institutions;
- Offer professional pathway experiences (research, internship, entrepreneurship) to each of its scholars reflecting the scholar’s interest to pursue graduate studies, work for industry/government, or work for a small company/start own business, upon graduation.
Building on the S-STEM Florida IT Pathways to Success (Flit-Path), project activities include tutoring for foundation courses; specialized academic advising; faculty, industry, and peer mentoring; professional pathway experiences (research, internship, entrepreneurship) to each scholar; and a hybrid (physical-virtual) learning community that spans the three institutions. Flit-GAP’s unique features of a hybrid learning community across all participating institutions, expansive pathway experiences of its scholars (leveraging institutional collaborations) and extensive evidence-based support activities/practices are expected to increase retention and graduation percentages by 10%.
The project will recruit an average of 50 S-STEM eligible junior students in each of Years 1, 2, and 3 of the grant. Flit-GAP will impact 150 scholars from the computing disciplines, most of whom are underrepresented in computing. Each scholar will be supported through graduation and subsequently if they choose to pursue graduate studies in a STEM discipline at any of the three institutions. Flit-GAP’s programmatic focus is expansive career pathway opportunities to each of its students accompanied by a plethora of supporting services offered by Flit-GAP, experiential learning offices, career services offices and graduate schools (e.g., internship fairs, panel discussion with alumni, resume workshops, graduate school application workshops, career fairs).
Flit-GAP brings together the unique collaboration of three institutions for each of its supported activities to create a multiplier effect on the support and opportunities offered to its scholars, and to conduct meaningful research studies that include significant-sized intersectional populations.