Stern2Stem | About Stern2STEM

About Stern2STEM A Pilot Program to Increase Veteran Retention and Success in STEM Degree Programs

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Stern2STEM is a pilot program being conducting by Old Dominion University in the College of Engineering with funding from the Office of Naval Research. Students who have served in the military often have key skills that will prove to be an asset in a STEM career path. We aim to help them successfully complete degrees that will help them join the STEM workforce.

  • Many veterans struggle to complete STEM degrees within the time allowed by their GI Bill.
  • A considerable amount of time is spent on prerequisite coursework in mathematics, chemistry, and physics.
  • Our goal is to reduce the time veterans spend on prerequisites in order to accelerate their transition for the military to STEM careers
Key Motivating Statistics:
  • Only 17.8% of student veterans pursue STEM degrees.
  • Only 8% of student veterans pursue engineering degrees.
  • Only 39.4% of student veteran pursuing STEM degrees complete in four years.
  • Lower first year retention rates (60%) for student veterans than for the total student population in Virginia (75%).
Stern2STEM Program Components
  • Outreach and Recruitment — We actively seek out and promote our program among student veterans pursing degrees in STEM disciplines.
  • Academic Support — We provide the academic support necessary for student veterans to succeed from leveling to upper level mathematics and science courses.
  • Educational Games – We develop educational games designed to prepare student veterans for success in their general education STEM courses.
  • Career Development — Student veterans are matched with advisors that have specialized training to more effectively meet their needs.
  • Establish Industry Partnerships — By utilizing area connections, the program assists student veterans with job placement, summer job opportunities, and sources of additional financial resources.
  • Career Development—As student veterans progress through their STEM academic program, we facilitate multiple opportunities for the students to gain experience through fellowships and internships within the defense industry.