Evaluation of STRONG-CT: A Program Supporting Minority and First-Generation U.S. Science Students

  • Alyssa McGonagle
  • Hedley C Freake
  • Steven Zinn
  • Timothy Bauerle
  • Jeffrey Winston
  • Gary Lewicki
  • Marcia Jehnings
  • Diba Khan-Bureau
  • Melissa Philion
Keywords: STEM, Life Sciences, Program Evaluation, Transfer Students, First Generation, Minority Students


The STRONG-CT alliance between four U.S. institutions, the University of Connecticut, Manchester Community College, Quinebaug Valley Community College, and Three Rivers Community College, seeks to help diversify and enlarge the STEM communities in Connecticut by increasing enrollment, retention, and graduation of racial/ethnic minority and first generation college students in life science disciplines. This study presents results of an evaluation of the program in achieving its objectives to date. Overall, the results show that STRONG-CT is a promising program that shows benefits for students academically, and in terms of psychological and behavioral variables. Notably, while most STRONG-CT students come from disadvantaged backgrounds in terms of parents education and SAT scores, those in the program perform and graduate in STEM majors similar to, and in some cases, better than control group students.