METS program creates career opportunities for transfer students
Hundreds of students are benefitting each year from the Motivated Engineering Transfer Students (METS) program that provides opportunities for careers in engineering and computer science for Arizona students starting out in community colleges.
The METS project goal is to develop a supply chain of high-quality engineering students through aiding the community colleges in their outreach to local high school students and by providing classroom materials, tutoring, speakers and tuition scholarships to cover costs of community college engineering courses. Once at ASU, transfer students are supported by the METS Center, where they can study together and get mentoring and training in academic and career planning.
METS is also is expected to have a national impact by developing effective ways for other universities and community colleges to form partnerships to encourage students to pursue engineering careers and help them make the transition into university programs.
Success with upper-division transfer students predominantly from the local Maricopa County Community College District helped earn a grant of $2.5 million over five years from the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 2009 to expand the METS program efforts coordinated at ASU by engineering faculty members Mary Anderson-Rowland, associate professor in the School for Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering and Armando Rodriguez, professor in the School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering.
“An engineering career was not even on the radar screen for a lot of these students when they were in high school,” Anderson-Rowland says, “and even when they’re in community college they don’t think they’re smart enough to get scholarships or go to a university. So it’s fulfilling to know you’re providing young people with options in their lives.”