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Conference Proceeding

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Researchers describe a need for increased access to and transitional support into STEM graduate education for low-income, academically talented, first-generation and/or underrepresented and minority (LIATFirstGenURM) students. In October 2019, we were awarded an NSF scholarship grant to build infrastructure and provide support to low-income, academically talented, firs-generation, underrepresented, and minority (LIATFirstGenURM) graduate engineering students. As part of the internal evaluation of the program, we interviewed seven enrolled and funded graduate student beneficiaries to determine if they encountered any barriers during their recruitment and first semester of graduate study. Additionally, we asked them what support they valued most. We found that these students valued the organizational program support system, and as a result, we also found several opportunities to improve the system. In this paper, we share our findings and discuss implications for program updates.

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