STEM Guided Pathways and Transformational Teaching Practices


In 2016, the U.S Department of Education awarded Cuyamaca College a 5-year, Hispanic Serving Institution Title III STEM Grant to fund enhanced community college experiences for students from diverse backgrounds who are interested in careers in allied health, engineering, chemistry, biology, and physics. Through a series of longitudinal timed supports, STEM Guided Pathways Scholars received support services designed to develop the academic and professional skills necessary to succeed in community college and transfer to a STEM baccalaureate program. Additionally, HSI funding allowed for the expansion of and refurbishment of STEM classrooms and the purchase of equipment to increase capacity, as well as training and development for faculty to expand equity minded, project-based learning practices across STEM disciplines.



The Cuyamaca College STEM Guided Pathways interventions are designed to increase Hispanic and low-income student academic success and persistence in science and engineering transfer degree programs. The expected long-term outcomes for the grant project are:

  1. Increase in the number of Hispanic and low-income full-time STEM field degree-seeking undergraduate students enrolled.
  2. Increase in the percentage of Hispanic and low-income first-time, full-time STEM field degree-seeking undergraduate students who persist from the first fall to the next in STEM studies.
  3. Increase the percentage of Hispanic and low-income students transferring successfully to a four-year institution from a two-year institution within three years of first entering.
  4. Increase in the percentage of students who complete STEM degree courses with a "C" or better.


Student Supports

Dedicated Academic Counseling

Students are provided individualized counseling services. Counselors are STEM focused to help you design a year-to-year plan to progress through your studies toward your transfer and career goals. 


STEM Boot Camp

Jump start your academics! The summer boot camp is for first-time college students. The multi-week session strengthens learning skills prior to enrolling for your fall semester. Activities encourage peer bonding and self-confidence.


STEM Mentorship

Mentoring provides participants with on campus linkages to other programs and resources, and academic guidance.  Group and one-on-one meetings are held regularly and are designed to promote connection to other STEM students and provide on-going support. 



Students are required to participate in workshops throughout the semester. These events provide a learning environment where students can grow as individuals through structured academic, career and personal development activities.


Summer Research Program

Our various summer programs provide students who are accepted an opportunity to discover how research in the STEM fields of Chemistry, Engineering, Biology or Physics works at this four-year university. Participants work alongside graduate students in a research lab while learning about campus culture.




Taught by STEM faculty, the SCI 100 class is for new STEM students. It reinforces discipline-specific learning objectives, provides study skills training and structured planning and guidance.


SEED (Science Engineering Educational Design)

The primary goals of this project are to: 1) Train adjunct and full-time faculty in teaching methods proven through research to positively impact academic success for students, 2) Provide the community of support and growth for STEM faculty that is often missing at the college level, and 3) Create a safe space for tuning project ideas and solving classroom dilemmas.


Embedded Learning Assistants

Designed to engage students in active learning and course-based authentic research in Biology, Chemistry, Physics and EngineeringEmbedding Learning Assistants provide guidance to students during class, as learning is happening. Students will have immediate assessment of their ability to master concepts and opportunities to build self-efficacy and self-confidence in succeeding. 


Program Outcomes

Grant Abstract

Year One Outcomes

Year Two Outcomes

Year Three Outcomes

Year Four Outcomes

Year Five Outcomes

Year Six Outcomes