S-STEM Logo Color | on Low-Income STEM Student Decision-Making and Pathways

Community College
S-STEM Network (CCSN)​

Developing and Sharing Research on Low-Income STEM Student Decision-Making and Pathways

Mission & Vision

The Community College S-STEM Network (CCSN) aims to explore and better understand the decision-making processes of low-income community college students who earn a National Science Foundation (NSF) Scholarship in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S STEM) Program.

The CCSN vision is to further understand the various students’ decision-making processes while completing STEM programs in community colleges. This study, however, will overview the underlying processes behind students’ decisions to go into these programs and the choices they make while continuing their education in STEM. It will also take a look at how elements of the S-STEM programs, the institutions themselves, and students’ attributes influence these decisions.

Our Work

CCSN envisions a future where low-income community college students interested in STEM careers can make informed choices about their education, with the necessary financial and administrative support from their institutions.

CCSN’s work examines the underlying processes behind students’ decisions as they navigate STEM pathways. It examines how elements of the S-STEM programs, the institutions themselves, and students’ attributes influence these decisions. By studying both the students and their environments, this work will help inform future policymaking around pressing issues like enrollment, retention, and transfer in STEM programs at community colleges.

PROJECT GOALS

The Community College S-STEM Network (CCSN) observes S-STEM programs and the students in them at participating community colleges across the United States. Over five years of initial work, the Hub hopes that the study findings will reveal why different students choose a STEM education, what aspects most influence low-income students’ decision-making, and how S-STEM programs can become more equitable in terms of student success.
  • Generate and amplify research on low-income community college S-STEM student decision-making and pathways through student and grantee surveys, systematic reviews, and case studies
  • Share research outcomes with the S-STEM community and national stakeholders through networking and proposal workshops, leadership groups, and research-to-practice clinics
  • Promote a collaborative and engaging S-STEM research community through partnerships and fellowships