Center for Evaluation & Research for STEM Equity

Projects for Students


Dr. Monique Ross CAREER Grant

CERSE is collaborating with Dr. Monique Ross at Florida International University to evaluate her NSF CAREER Grant. Ross’ grant is conducting research to better understand factors that influence the participation of Black and Hispanic women in computer science, in order to critically examine efforts and initiatives that impact engagement, and establish a computer science education research Ph.D. pathway. We provide formative and summative evaluation, using focus groups and exit surveys with students, regular consultation, and assessing the impact of the research dissemination.


Future Rivers NSF Research Traineeship (NRT), University of Washington

The University of Washington Future Rivers NRT program intends to develop innovative, culturally-aware STEM workforce and produce increasingly diverse cohorts of interdisciplinary freshwater scientists. To help achieve these goals, CERSE provides STEM equity and inclusion training through workshops to provide program mentors and Summer Institute participants with the tools to do inclusive science that is attractive to a diverse set of program participants. CERSE representatives also consult with faculty and students to provide advice and feedback on equitable pedagogy and inclusion practices for the classroom.


NCWIT Extension Services for Undergraduate Programs

The evaluation of NCWIT Extension Services incorporates both summative and formative evaluation including data collection and analysis for the NCWIT Extension Services metrics. Metrics are collected around awareness of the gender related issues in participating departments, understanding of organizational change, progress in implementing interventions, practices and strategic plans; growth of a social science resource pool in the form of the Extension Service Consultants, and the ultimate goals of increased recruitment and retention of women in computing.


Redshirt in Engineering Consortium

The NSF-funded Redshirt in Engineering Consortium was formed in 2016 with the goal of enhancing the ability of academically talented but underprepared students coming from low-income backgrounds to successfully graduate with engineering degrees. The academic Redshirt model developed at the University of Colorado Boulder (CU-B) and extended to the University of Washington (UW) and Washington State University (WSU) was inspired by athletic Redshirt programs, which provide college athletes a year to prepare to compete at the university level. The Consortium builds off the success of existing academic Redshirt programs at CU-B, UW, and WSU by expanding the model to Boise State University, University of California at San Diego, and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The Existing Redshirt Institutions (ERIs) help mentor and train the new Student Success Partners (SSP), and SSPs contribute their unique expertise to help ERIs improve existing Redshirt programs.

CERSE’s evaluation of the Redshirt in Engineering Consortium involves observation of consortium-level activity, collection and analysis of university/college-level degree and enrollment data, and bi-annual student surveys. The evaluation assesses the extent to which programs have an impact on student success and broadening participation in engineering, and whether/how the consortium collaborates to exchange best practices and refine the Redshirt model for broader dissemination.

Selected Publications

Knaphus-Soran, E., Delaney, A., Tetrick, K. C., Cunningham, S., Cosman, P., Ennis, T. D., Myers, B. A.,…Ferrez,M. (2018). Institutional Context and the Implementation of the Redshirt in Engineering Model at Six Universities. Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Education, Salt Lake City, UT, June 2018.

Myers, B., Knaphus-Soran, E., Llewellyn, D. C., Delaney, A., Cunningham, S., Cosman, P., Pitts, K. (2018). Redshirt in Engineering: A model for improving equity and inclusion. Proceedings of the Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity (CoNECD) Conference, Crystal City, VA, May 2018.


Spokane Falls Community College ATE in Cybersecurity

Spokane Falls Community College launched the Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program focuses on the education of technicians for the high-technology fields and partners with academic institutions and promote improvement in the education of science and engineering technicians at the undergraduate and secondary institution school levels with an emphasis on two-year institutions. CERSE conducts focus groups with participating students, interviews with employers, and observes team meetings in order to formatively and summatively assess the program implementation.


University of Illinois IUSE/EHR Project

CERSE is the evaluator for the University of Illinois IUSE/EHR grant “Gendered Career Paths in Engineering Undergraduate Education: Antecedents and Implications” which is studying how and why elective track choices become gendered during undergraduate engineering education. Our evaluation scope of work includes monthly formative feedback on processes and products, characterization of the case analysis and emergent themes, and describing potential impact of the project outcomes.


Western Washington University BEES S-STEM

Western Washington University Engineering Becoming Engaged Engineering Scholars (BEES) program is designed to respond to the challenges in recruiting and retaining academically-talented, low-income students into undergraduate engineering programs. CERSE conducts annual focus groups and an annual survey and reviews collected data to assess and give feedback on program improvements and project progress.


Western Washington University Lab Camp: An inclusive, accessible alternative to field-based geoscience capstone courses

With funding from the NSF, the Geology Department at Western Washington University (WWU) is developing a Lab Camp as a modern alternative to traditional geology Field Camp. The Lab Camp is intended to build a more diverse and inclusive Geology Department by providing a more accessible alternative to traditional field camp and providing students with opportunities to develop high-impact lab-based research skills. CERSE’s evaluation of the WWU lab camp includes annual surveys of students participating in both the traditional field camps and lab camps, and an assessment of changes in department culture that coincide with DEI-focused professional development activities for faculty and teaching assistants.


Western Washington University Computer Science and Math Scholars S-STEM

Western Washington University’s Computer Science and Math Departments are implementing an S-STEM program to support low-income but high achieving undergraduate students in their departments. The project is also researching how curricular activities influence student self-efficacy, identity or sense of belonging, and how early exposure to computer science affects personal attributes and professional outcomes. CERSE is evaluating the CS/M Scholars goals using student surveys, focus groups, observations, and review of the research to ensure that the program will be effective and efficient in achieving their goals.



WVU ACCESS S-STEM aims to increase the number of academically talented students with demonstrated financial need obtaining degrees in STEM particularly in Computer and Information Science programs with specialization in cybersecurity.  WVU also aims to investigate the impact of their co-curricular activities in relation to their effect on increasing student interest and success in Cybersecurity education. CERSE conducts formative and summative evaluation on the program. The evaluations help assess how well recruitment and selection processes identify low-income students, how industry and governmental partners have been strengthened, and how the program interventions can be improved.


Dr. Joey Key CAREER Grant  

CERSE is collaborating with Dr. Joey Key at University of Washington Bothell to evaluate her NSF CAREER Grant. The research objectives for this project are to develop Bayesian data analysis methods for astrophysical searches for LIGO, NANOGrav, and LISA. This project also provides research and outreach opportunities to undergraduate students at a PUI who are traditionally underrepresented within Physics and Astronomy. CERSE provides formative and summative evaluation, using focus group discussions and exit surveys with students, regular consultation, and bibliometric tracking.


Materials-Intensive S-STEM Scholars Program  

The NSF-funded Materials-Intensive S-STEM Scholars Program is designed to support students transferring from WA community colleges into Materials Science, Mechanical, and Chemical Engineering degree programs at the University of Washington. The grant funds scholarships for approximately 80 undergraduate and graduate students over a five-year period; in addition, participating students are offered other opportunities, including lab research and internships, to equip them with the skills they need post-degree. CERSE provides formative and summative evaluation via annual student focus group discussions, longitudinal student surveys, and regular consultation.


Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Networking Events for Community College Students

The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) has organized two networking series. SWE’s long-term goal for this project is to expand the representation of women in engineering and computer by supporting women community college students who may pursue this professional pathway. This project constitutes the third phase of an ongoing research project that investigates persistence in engineering and computer science for women at community colleges. Phase III builds on findings from previous work that CERSE conducted in collaboration with SWE that suggested community college women in engineering could benefit from more information about engineering and computer science career pathways, increased focus on mentorship, strengthening relationships with engineering professionals, and improving self-confidence. CERSE is evaluating the series of networking events to assess the extent to which participating in the events successfully facilitates community college women’s professional knowledge, relationships, and self-confidence.


Allen School 

The Paul G. Allen School for Computer Science & Engineering (Allen School) at the University of Washington (UW) College of Engineering is revising its introductory course sequence. The ultimate purpose of this work is to improve the representation of women within the Allen School and is aiming to do so by creating an environment that is inclusive of all members of the community regardless of gender, ethnicity, race, LGBTQ+ status, dis/ability, etc. Specific adjustments include adding content that is relevant to a range of cultures, introducing flexible assignments and quiz sections, encouraging student collaboration, and revising grading and TA training. CERSE is evaluating the course sequence restructuring by assessing student perspectives about the original and revised courses and examining equity in student academic outcomes across the two sequences.