2016 IOT program participants

Sophomore Boost is an innovative summer program that will target those STEM students who, during their first 30 university credits, have a GPA between 1.75 and 2.3.  In particular, Sophomore Boost will seek students who have received a C- or lower in one or more of their STEM classes. The program will recruit up to 15 students who fall in this category, with a goal of strengthening their performance.  The approach will be threefold: focus on the GPA; focus on self-efficacy; focus on creativity and innovation.

Focus on the GPA:

At UVI, students who have received a course grade of C- or lower are able to re-take the course.  While both grades will remain on the transcript, only the higher grade will be factored into the GPA.  We will recruit up to 15 students who have been unsuccessful in at least one STEM course during the first year of college level courses.  To participate in the program, the student will commit to re-taking one course during the first five-week summer session. Through the University’s Center for Student Success, the student will be provided a tutor and a Peer Coach. Tuition will be provided.

Focus on Self Efficacy:

Students in Sophomore Boost will be provided with a seminar based on Carol Dweck’s work on Mindset and the Brainology program (see www.mindsetworks.com).  Brainology is geared toward middle school students, and there are adaptations for high school students.  Through this ACE project, we will create a curriculum for college students. During the first two weeks of the second summer session, students will discuss the topics in the Brainology program, through an approach that will include short readings, online activities and discussions.

Focus on Creativity and Innovation:

Students in the Sophomore Boost program will participate in a creativity and innovation experience. Alongside the Mindset program, students will each complete a short course in creative problem solving (see www.tctc4.me: The Creative Thinking Course).  This will be facilitated UVI faculty, qualified staff, or a graduate student who has completed creativity training.

In the last three weeks of the summer program, students will be fully engaged in UVI’s recently created Innovation Centers. Because the focus is on designing and building, it is expected that this engaging approach will lead students to become more confident in their abilities to problem solve, and create products.  It is expected that this will enhance students’ self-efficacy, and result in resilience and better academic performance.

Michael Smith, PhD, of Intel will work to develop a tailored curriculum similar to one developed for Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá Colombia (see: https://software.intel.com/sites/default/files/managed/58/c7/Javeriana_Intel_IoT_Workshops.pdf).  Dr. Smith is a visual computing architect and Director of the Intel Software Academic Program for Perceptual Computing and the Internet of Things, and was recently named an AAAS Invention Ambassador (http://www.aaas.org/inventionambassadors).  The curriculum will also incorporate VI-EPSCoR funded research projects as application design projects.  During summer 2016, a pilot maker space program named "The Internet of Things" was developed by Dr. Smith through funding from the VI EPSCoR program and offered to a cross-disciplinary group of students.  This curriculum will form the basis for the Sophomore Boost program. 

Continued Support

Participants in the Sophomore Boost program will receive continued support during subsequent academic years through the assignment of a peer coach (to be described later in this proposal), or will be trained to become peer coaches themselves.  These students will also have an opportunity to be trained as a Peer Leader for the PLTL activities. 

Student Selection

Candidates for the program will be recommended by UVI faculty and advisors as well as selection through the ECS application. Additional candidates may invited through a data mining search process that matches those with GPA requirements. Students will be selected based on a variety of criteria and may be asked for an interview. 

For more information, call us at 340-693-1249.