This paper reports on a scholarship program funded by the National Science Foundation that focuses on students who transfer at the 3rd -year level from 2-year schools to the engineering and engineering technology BS programs at our university. The objectives of the program are to: (i) expand and diversify the engineering/technology workforce of the future, (ii) develop linkages and articulations with 2-year schools and their S-STEM (Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) programs, (iii) provide increased career opportunities and job placement rates through mandatory paid co-op experiences, and (iv) serve as a model for other universities to provide vertical transfer students access to the baccalaureate degree. The program is in its third year. It recruited its first group of 25 students in Fall 2017, and another group of 27 students in Fall 2018. We hope to recruit 26 more students in Fall 2019 for a total of 78 vertical transfers. The goal is to retain and graduate at least 95% of these scholars. To enhance the success of these scholars, a zero-credit six-week orientation course was developed in Fall 2017 focusing on four dimensions of student wellness: academic, financial, social, and personal. This paper describes the development of this course, its content, and the modifications that were made to the course for Fall 2018. The paper will also address the research conducted in order to generate knowledge about the program elements that will be essential for the success of vertical transfer programs at other universities. Two research instruments are described: an online survey and a focus group interview that were developed, and administered to the transfer scholars in their first year. Initial findings concerning students’ experiences at their 2-year schools, their reason for transferring, their experience in transferring as well as their initial conceptions of what life at a 4-year institution will be like are presented.

Date of creation, presentation, or exhibit



© American Society for Engineering Education, 2019

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Department, Program, or Center

Industrial and Systems Engineering (KGCOE)


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