On Tuesday, the Education Lab team hosted a Google+ Hangout about diversity in STEM and what some universities are doing to help more people of color and first-generation students earn degrees in fields like computer science and engineering.
The video chat was tied to a Monday story by Katherine Long about programs at the University of Washington and Washington State University that give disadvantaged engineering students a fifth year to complete academic prep work to put them on equal footing with those students from more privileged backgrounds.
Called State Academic Red Shirt, or STARS, the program is modeled after the practice in college athletics of giving students an extra year to reach their full potential.
Long moderated Tuesday’s video chat. Joining her were the following panelists:
- Courtney Seto, a UW sophomore who began the STARS program in the fall of 2013 and has been accepted into the university’s industrial engineering department
- Tanya Ennis, director of the Engineering GoldShirt program at the University of Colorado at Boulder, a school that pioneered the academic redshirt concept six years ago.
- Trish Millines Dziko, founder/CEO of the Technology Access Foundation, a local nonprofit that helps prepare students of color for college-level coursework and future careers in STEM fields
- Dawn Wiggin Esselstrom, associate director in the College of Engineering Student Academic Services at UW