MetricsTo measure the systemic transformation of STEM education and assess the progress achieved by each institution, a set of metrics was developed and implemented to indicate the effectiveness and efficiency in STEM programs in PR-LSAMP institutions.  These metrics include: retention and graduation rates and GPA, average number of years to complete a baccalaureate degree, entry into graduate STEM programs, and the index of course efficiency (ICE), which is defined as the average number of times students must take a course to satisfactorily pass it with a grade of "C" or above.  Use of these metrics promote accountability among the PR-LSAMP institutions, and facilitates incorporation of quantitative performance metrics into their institutional research process to drive resource planning and allocation of funds.

 

The primary objectives of Phase IV are:

 

  1. Increase the number of students who enter a graduate degree program in a STEM field.
  2. Increase the number of students who complete a PhD program in a STEM field, either in Puerto Rico or in the United States mainland.
  3. Sustain the annual number of BS STEM graduates from PR-LSAMP institutions to provide for a significant source (pool) for STEM graduate degrees.  
  4. Sustain and enhance the direct student support strategies that have proven successful to retain and motivate undergraduate STEM students to pursue graduate studies, such as undergraduate research experiences and mentoring.
  5. Sustain the collaborative network between STEM faculty from the different PR-LSAMP institutions for exchange of and mentoring in the implementation of successful strategies to enhance the teaching and learning process.

 

Since its inception, the goal of PR-LSAMP has been to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of undergraduate STEM programs by transforming the teaching and learning culture of participating institutions.  The metrics used by PR-LSAMP to measure increased effectiveness and efficiency are: enrollment data, degrees awarded, and the Index of Course Efficiency (ICE).  To obtain these metrics PR-LSAMP uses a three-prong approach: annual institutional data, retrospective cohort studies, and a student tracking system. 

  • Undergraduate enrollment in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines has increased, from 12,572 in 1991 to 27,258 in 2011. - see graphic below
    Increment in Undergraduate STEM Enrollment
  • The number of baccalaureate degrees awarded in STEM disciplines has increased, from 1,709 degrees awarded in 1991 to 2,764 in 2011. In this 19-year period, institutions have awarded a total of 55,480 BS degrees in STEM fields. - see graphic below
    Increment in BS Degrees Awarded Annually
  • At the local level, in 2009 the University of Puerto Rico awarded 52 Ph.D. degrees in science and engineering fields.  At the national level, 24% of the Hispanics that obtained a PhD in a natural science field from 1997-2008, received their BS from a PR-LSAMP institution.  In the case of Engineering, the percent is 21%. - Click here
  • The Index of Course Efficiency (ICE) - The Index of Course Efficiency was defined as the average number of times students must take a course to satisfactorily pass it with a grade of 'C' or above.  The ICE allows the institution to determine which courses presented significant problems to a specific cohort of students, as evidenced by the percent of failures and number of times they had to repeat them in order to pass them.  The ICE is a valuable tool to identify the principal problem areas of the STEM programs for institutional academic managers to act upon.

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