Wayne State University (WSU) C2 Pipeline is a program sponsored by Wayne State University's College of Nursing. We are funded through the Michigan Department of Education's 21st Century Community Learning Center grant. Our mission is to: inspire and empower students to prepare for college and academic success through immersive explorations of STEM and health fields that give them the technical skills and knowledge they need to engage in real-life argument, reasoning, problem solving, planning and collaboration. We currently operate in fourteen Metro-Detroit high schools in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb Counties serving students in grades 9-12, and just received funding to add an additional five (5) high schools. WSU C2 Pipeline consists of three main components: school year afterschool programming, annual summer programs, and the Innovation & Curiosity Center (STEM LAB). Our overall program goals include the following:
- Preparing students to be college and career ready
- Increasing academic achievement in student learning
- Expanding student awareness through enrichment activities and other non-traditional learning
- Providing a safe and nurturing environment for all students
- Providing family services
Afterschool programming operates for a total of 32 weeks during the academic school year. At each of our centers, programming runs for two and a half hours daily, Monday through Thursday. During these two and a half hours, students are served dinner or a snack and have a chance to participate in general session and enrichment. WSU C2 Pipeline's general session offers students the opportunity to receive assistance with homework, projects, and any school related work in a small group setting as well as actively engage in various SEL (social emotional learning) activities.
Enrichments Sessions (1 hour, 4 days a week) all have a focus on career and college readiness. The program is broken down into five career pathways, which are Engineering & Technology; Science; Business; Health and Social Services. Each pathway is the particular theme throughout the year – e.g., Monday may be Engineering/Technology, Tuesday Science, Wednesday Business and Thursday Health/Social Service. These pathway designations are important as they directly correlate to our external and campus partners. Creating pathway themed programs allows students to identify particular interests, participate in multiple areas and helps to define their career/college goals. Within each pathway are a specific set of enrichment's that students, upon completion, can earn a digital badge that could be tied to their transcripts or used for job opportunities.
In the Health/Social Service pathway, enrichments include Anatomy in Clay; Biomedical Engineering; Forensic Science; Empowerment Improv; CPR/First Aid; Certified Nurse Assistant; Human Genetic Variation; STEM Debate; STEM Sleuths; STEPS; Traumatic Brain Injury; Your Blood; and Bio-Technology. Although there may be some cross over in enrichments between pathways, the 30 plus different enrichments have lesson plans that are academically engaging and project based. All of these include a description, goals/objectives, multiple activities and evidence that the students will use to show competency. These lesson plans align with state and national standards and complement what students learn during the school day. Also embedded in these are opportunities for community service/service learning, career exploration, citizenship, leadership development and conflict resolution. Our other pathways include Science, Engineering/Technology and Business.
Separate from the school year academic enrichment activities is our summer programs. They provide students (current 8th – 11th graders) the opportunity to come on the campus of Wayne State University and experience STEM and healthcare activities in a collegiate setting. These programs include a day "camp" model where students are provided transportation daily, and participate in activities such as Nursing Sim Labs, Underwater Robotics, Environmental Testing, Rube Goldberg, Entrepreneurship, Movie Making, STEM World, Bio Printing, GROSS! Anatomy, Forensic Science, Camp Apple.
Students also have the opportunity to participate in a two-week residential camp where they take classes taught by university faculty, and experience what college freshman initially experience when they first go to college. The WSU C2 Pipeline summer residential program, called the Warrior's College Experience, enables students to fully experience what college life is like. The Warrior's College Experience is geared toward current 10th and 11th graders.
The WSU C2 Pipeline program serves over 1,400 unique students yearly. Our enrolled students are disadvantaged either because of the environment, which they come from or based on their families economic status. These students come from three counties where the statistics of poverty, crime and health disparities affects and reflects on the education systems they come from.
The schools we serve have free/reduced lunch percentages that range from 53% to 88% (MDE, "Free & Reduced Price Lunch Counts" 2016), while the state average is 29.5%. Additionally, the communities where these schools are located have a percentage of 22% to 46% of families below the poverty level as compared to 15% statewide. The average median household income statewide is $50,803 compared to $26,230 to $47,057 in these communities. While the percentage receiving SNAP in the state is 14% as compared to 16% to 40% (US Census Bureau, American Fact Finder, & Selected Economic Characteristics 2015 American Community Survey).
The SAT College Readiness of the schools range from 7.1 to 23.3; compared statewide at 34.9. SAT Mean scores range from 812 to 964; compared statewide at 1007. All of our schools are below the average proficiency of 34% in math (2.98 to 21.2) & many are below the 34% average proficiency in ELA (11.9 to 32.1). Graduation rates for these schools range from 78% to 94% (MDE. Michigan School Data. District School Profiles).
The program is inclusive and diverse, so recruitment is open to every student that attends the collaborating school and includes homeless students, those who are limited English speaking and those with disabilities. All collaborating schools meet Michigan Department of Education's definition of high priority schools. We utilize various methods to identify and recruit our students. Consultations are made with building administrators and counselors as well as classroom teachers for referrals. We are present at school functions such as open houses, parent-teacher conferences and have a process where parents can request services for their children.
Data from student learning style assessments combined with updated academic records and consultation with the students' school day teachers serve as tools to guide staff in the application of strategies that are appropriate for each learner. When necessary, accommodations and supplementary activities designed to reinforce and enrich academic content will be included, such as individual tutorial assistance, small group and interactive computer-assisted instruction.
Our local program evaluation plan includes both process and outcome objectives to address continuous quality improvement and assessment of student progress. Both qualitative and quantitative data is collected at the organizational, student, parent and teacher levels to determine the program's progress and attainment in achieving its goals and objectives.
Since 2012, the Center for Urban Studies at Wayne State University has served as our local evaluator. The Center has a wide range of evaluation research capabilities and experience including questionnaire development, multi-method data collection procedures, large database management, as well as a cadre of analytical staff. The Center has developed tools and procedures specific to our program, supplementing data captured through the statewide evaluation to assess local program objectives and outcomes not included in the leading indicators. In addition, the Center will perform teacher, student and parent focus groups periodically at C2 Pipeline sites.
The logic model, developed in collaboration with the Steering Committee, serves as the foundation for the local evaluation plan. In addition to the statewide performance indicators, the model specifies short term outcomes such as improved organizational and planning skills and greater awareness of STEM and health careers, as well as longer term outcomes such as submission of a college application. Although many of the outputs and outcomes in the model are tracked through the statewide evaluation, the evaluators use paper and web-based pre- and post-program surveys containing a mix of qualitative and quantitative items to gather the additional information. In addition to assessing outcomes, the evaluators will employ a smartphone accessible, on-line career interest survey of all students at the designated schools throughout the school year to help C2 Pipeline to guide selecting appropriate activity choices for each site to maximize enrollment and participation.
C² Pipeline is committed to offering evidence-based STEM activities to all students within the program. Our enrichments and General Sessions provide opportunities for students to explore STEM career paths and create their own STEM identity. This program is unique in that our overall program uses STEM activities to prepare students to become career and college ready.
The C2 Pipeline Program model was designed, and continues to evolve, so that the "A" doesn't need to be added into STEM. Looking at many best practice models, the "A" is already integrated into STEM programs and we continue to look for ways to integrate Art, Recreation, and Music into our already existing enrichment activities. "Students working with STEM disciplines flex their creativity and innovation via experimental methods, critique, and presentation of their work. The idea that you need to put the 'A' in STEM is missing the point, which is a good scientific process, and good creative process and being disciplined and organized are part of successful artists and successful scientists" (District Administration. Should STEM Become STEAM. Williams, Lauren. 2/13).
During the course of the school year, students choose from five different pathways to explore STEM careers. The pathways are as follows: Engineering/Technology, Health, Social Services, Business, and Science. Different pathways are offered on a daily basis where students can choose to focus on that career/college pathway related STEM/health careers. Student may choose one pathway or discover STEM/health careers within all of the pathways.
Some examples of evidenced based STEM curriculum in the Engineering/Technology Pathway include our "3D Printing and Design Enrichment" a comprehensive curriculum provided by MakerBot that allows students to develop skills in all STEM areas. According to MakerBot Education, "At MakerBot, we believe that 3D printing and modeling offer a rich way to enhance and reinforce science, technology, engineering, art, math, and design skills already being taught in the classroom. Presenting real-world challenges to students engages them with a hands-on approach to problem solving"(Makerbot Education. Makerbot in the Classroom: Introduction to 3D Printing in the Classroom. 2015). Using curricula from Duke University's Pratt School of Engineering, students explore creating solar vehicles, "bionic" arms using hydraulics and pneumatics, vehicles powered by different mediums, and bio imaging. Students also explore STEM careers using curricula from Techbridge that includes areas such as Computer Science, Chemical Engineering, and Electrical Engineering. "The Techbridge curriculum is designed to interest kids in STEM, promote inquiry, and highlight real-world applications so kids can see how STEM careers make the world a better place. It can be used with girls and boys in a variety of out-of-school time settings, including afterschool programs, summer programs, and youth groups." (Http://www.techbridgegirls.org).
The Health and Social Services pathway includes evidence-based enrichments such as: Traumatic Brain Injury (2009-2015 Project Neuron, University of Illinois, Grant funded by National Institutes of Health and SEPA); STEM Sleuths (Super STEM sleuths from The Center for Educational Outreach at Baylor College of Medicine ); Anatomy in Clay® (http://anatomyinclay.com/services/education/educator-activities.html); and Human Genetic Variation, which was developed under a contract from the National Institutes of Health from the US Dept. of Health and Human Services. The "Anatomy in Clay® Learning System" curriculum, for example, exposes the students to the art of sculpture while they are constructing the body systems out of clay building out a scaled skeletal mannequin. This evidence-based curriculum which provides professional development for our staff, is "…a methodology that would approach the teaching of Anatomy from a different perspective, one that encouraged independence, student-centered instruction, and engaged all types of learners" (Teri Fleming, Recently Retired Science Instructor, Biology and Anatomy (and winner of Teacher of Year Award six times and nominated 12 times more), Alief, ISD, Houston, TX).
The Business pathway includes evidence-based enrichments such as Personal Finance Literacy (Take Charge America Institute for Consumer Financial Education and Research (www.takechargetoday.arizona.edu), Hands on Banking Entrepreneurship Version (Wells Fargo. http://www.handsonebanking.org), and College and Finance (First Generation: A Guide to College. Wells Fargo).
The Science pathway includes evidence-based enrichments such as STEPS to a Healthy Teen (STEPS to a Healthy Teen: Segments to Emphasize Physical Activity and Nutrition. National 4H Curriculum. 2013), My Blood, Your Blood (My Blood, Your Blood. America's Blood Centers. 2004), and The Science of Alcohol (The Science of Alcohol. Baylor College of Medicine, Center for Educational Outreach. 2015).
C2 Pipeline not only provides ongoing professional development to our staff for all enrichments offered in our program, many of the curricula also have professional development opportunities via webinars and/or background informational text.
During general sessions, there are pathway specific guest speakers who are experts within that particular pathway and allows them to share their experiences within their STEM fields. General Sessions and enrichments provided by our program allow students to explore their own STEM identities and bring awareness to STEM careers.
C2 Pipeline will be using Digital Badges (micro credentialing) to supply students with proof of competency in STEM enrichments that they are able to use for college applications, job applications, general competency, and proof of out of school time learning. These badges align to state standards and we are working to have them vetted by the Michigan Department of Education's Curriculum and Instruction office. In order for a student to receive a digital badge from C2 Pipeline, students must meet criteria that is assessed by the facilitator of the enrichment and recorded via the digital badging process. These digital badges can be shared on social media via Facebook and LinkedIn. When permissible by our participating schools, digital badges can also be shared on the student's official school transcript.
Our summer program allows a student to choose from many different STEM related camps in order to enhance their STEM identities and explore STEM careers. Summer days camps such as Underwater Remotely Operated Vehicles, Biomedical Engineering, Movies, Forensic Science, STEM World, Nursing Experience, and Entrepreneurship all focus on STEM careers and are assessed with project-based activities.
All staff have rigorous professional development requirements. C2 Pipeline staff follow Licensing Rules for Child Care Centers, 400.8131, Rule 131, as applied to school-age children and the Michigan Out-of-School Time Standards of Quality (MOST), to meet expectations for "high" quality programming.
Staff utilize the David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality (CYPQ) webinars for Youth Work Methods, Boy Scouts Explorer's/Learning for Life "my participation" on-line training portal, the MVU Professional Learning Portal, You for Youth (y4y) webinars & professional learning portal for on-demand trainings. C2 Pipeline also has trained two Site Coordinators in CYPQ Youth Work Methods TOT; a Lab Coordinator trained in NGSS and Click2Science TOT, two C2 Pipeline staff who are certified CPR/First Aid trainers that implement workshops throughout the year. Additional PD is aligned to ongoing program improvement plans.
C2 Pipeline staff attend required Michigan Afterschool Partnership hosted trainings; MDE required activities, Michigan After School Association Trainings, as well as curriculum specific content trainings. Staff development also includes an individualized PD Plan based on job performance, observations, on-going Program Improvement Plans, and their self-assessment as part of the National After School Association's Core Knowledge and Competencies for Afterschool and Youth Development Professionals.
All staff will have a PD plan in place that exceeds the minimum of Licensing Rules and the MOST Standards of Quality. This includes training in the areas of DHHS Child Abuse and Neglect, Harassment, Active Shooter, Blood Borne Pathogens, Diversity, Michigan Core Competencies, Common Core Standards, CPR/First Aid, the David P. Weikart Center's Youth Worker Method course, YPQA and Planning with Data.
Through the completion of the comprehensive needs assessment, focus group interviews, and surveys (teacher, student and parent), the WSU C2 Pipeline staff has determined that high student failure rates, absenteeism, disciplinary referrals, and low staff morale have contributed to a decline in school spirit and climate. Each of the selected strategies is based upon sound research and is in alignment with the findings of the comprehensive needs assessment.
- Strong industry partnerships continue to build a solid foundation in the content and methods of STEM through professional learning for our staff. Increase our collaboration with industry partners and postsecondary institutions to improve the teaching of STEM materials.
- Continue to build curriculum units that fully integrate STEM instructional strategies that are aligned with the Michigan Department of Education. Facilitate students by providing them with opportunities in high school to use technology and tools; engage in argument, reasoning, and problem solving; and to communicate and collaborate.
- The MDE/ STEM Preparing Today's Learners for Tomorrow's Careers, enable cross-sector collaborations that create powerful STEM education and talent development opportunities across Michigan.
- Collaboration with the Michigan Merit Examination (MME) assesses students in grade 11 and eligible students in grade 12 based on Michigan high school standards. It is administered each spring, and consists of three components that include the College Board SAT, ACT and Work-keys a job skills assessment in reading, mathematics, and locating information and the M-STEP science and social studies curriculum standards.
- Develop measurable benchmark goals for STEM proficiency for our students. Create a qualitative and quantitative progress-monitoring tool as well as use the current standardized test score data to measure growth in math and science.
The comprehensive approach to STEM education at WSU C2 Pipeline Centers are relevant to the core tenets of an effective, sustainable and age appropriate STEM curriculum.