To 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:
- Increase the number of students who enter a graduate degree program in a STEM field.
- Increase the number of students who complete a PhD program in a STEM field, either in Puerto Rico or in the United States mainland.
- Sustain the annual number of BS STEM graduates from PR-LSAMP institutions to provide for a significant source (pool) for STEM graduate degrees.
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- The Index of Course Efficiency (ICE) - A Brief Presentation. Click here to view presentation.
- A Metrics Manual - The Use of Retrospective Cohort Studies "How and Why It was Done"
- A Summary of the Procedure to Create Special Indexes and Indicators in a Retrospective Cohort Study of STEM Students - Click here