Appendix 4.7: Sustainability Examples

Last updated on 2014/10/12 by Court






4.7.1   Center:ERC for Extreme Ultraviolet Science and Technology (ERC EUV), a graduated ERC (2003–2013)


Lead Institution: Colorado State University


Center Director: Prof. Jorge Rocca, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering


Name of Program: 3+2 Degree Program partnership with Historically Black Colleges and Universities


Type of Program: Undergraduate Education partnership with minority-serving institution

 Program Synopsis: The EUV ERC has capitalized on a strategy that was used to increase the diversity of students in its undergraduate programs in order to create a sustainable program that will increase the number of students from underrepresented minority (URM) groups enrolled in engineering degree programs. A long-standing partner with the Center, Morehouse College which is a Historically Black Colleges (HBCU) college, and one of the EUV ERC’s core Universities, Colorado State University in Fort Collins, are close to finalizing an agreement that would allow Morehouse students to receive a liberal arts degree at their home institution and, an engineering degree at CSU. In the future, this agreement will include the other core Universities, the University of Colorado at Boulder and the University of California in Berkeley, as well as other HBCUs such as Spelman.

 Contact person/website:

 Dates of Operation/Timeframe: The initiative should begin in the mid-life of the Center to provide adequate time for curriculum review and paperwork.

 Background: The most successful strategy the EUV ERC employed to increase diversity was through long-standing partnerships with organizations that served underrepresented minority groups. In particular, the Center has built a relationship with Morehouse College through shared research and education goals. It is through these common interests that the idea for deepening and formalizing the partnership though a 3+2 degree program came about. In the 10 years of the Center, 33 students at Morehouse College have been involved in EUV-related research and 13 have done REU projects at UC Berkeley, LBNL, CSU or CU Boulder. Morehouse College is a liberal arts college and does not offer an engineering program to its students. For students who are interested in attaining a prestigious Morehouse degree AND an engineering degree, Morehouse has developed a number of partnerships with Universities across the country so that once a Morehouse student finishes the requirements for a science degree (physics, chemistry etc.) they are able to pursue an engineering degree at another University. The Morehouse degree usually takes 3 years and through a careful equivalency analysis of the courses a student has taken, the engineering degree usually takes an additional 2 years, thus this program is often referred to as a 3+2 Degree or Dual Degree Program.

 Methodology: 3+2 or Dual Degree Programs require motivation, persistence and usually an individual who is responsible and dedicated to the process. Such understandings between institutions of higher learning are not easily come by especially between liberal arts colleges and universities where similar courses exist but the philosophy of education may differ. The first step in the process is to establish the equivalencies between the home institution (Morehouse college) and the second institution (CSU) to insure that courses can be recognized by both institutions and that the basic graduation requirements are met. Once the second institution can determine the background of a potential 3+2 student, a curriculum can be developed for a 2 year completion of an engineering degree. The Office of the Registrar, the Engineering School (Department) and the Undergraduate Dean all need to be involved in the process. A Memo of Understanding (MOU) needs to be created so that both institutions are aware of the parameters that are involved for the success of the student. Finally, support structures for potential students need to be identified so that the transition is smooth.

 Impact/benefits: The program is important because it provides a clear pathway for students from URM groups who have been involved in the Center to continue their studies within the Center without compromising their current status at their home institution. In short, it simply provides more opportunities for interested students. The Center is particularly interested in creating this program in Colorado because the state currently has a very low percentage of African Americans that hasn’t changed in 20 years (4%). By providing one pathway for students, the hope is that other students who are just beginning their college careers will view Colorado as a feasible option.

 Evaluation/Assessment: Personal interviews will be used for assessment and feedback

 Sustainability: Adoption of this program by the colleges and universities involved will provide sustainability

 Tips: Not available


4.7.2   Center:ERC for Extreme Ultraviolet Science and Technology (ERC EUV), a graduated ERC (2003–2013)


Lead Institution: Colorado State University


Center Director: Prof. Jorge Rocca, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering


Name of Program: Inquiry-based, Hands-on activities in Optics, Waves and Light

 Type of Program: K-12 Education Outreach

 Program Synopsis: Many of the educational activities for K-12 audiences (students and teachers) that were developed by the EUV ERC on the subjects of optics, waves and light (OWL) have been adopted by numerous other educational organizations that were partners with Center and, will enable future generations to partake of these activities long after the EUV ERC has graduated.

 Contact person/website:

 Dates of Operation/Timeframe: The dates and timing of Education Outreach programs for K-12 audiences can vary depending on the needs of the audience.

 Background: In an effort to increase the impact of its K-12 education outreach activities, the EUV ERC partnered with other educational organizations very early in its history. The nature of these partnerships varied depending on the type of education organization. In some partnerships, materials were developed jointly and dissemination of the activities occurred through both the Center and the partner organization. In some partnerships, the flow of materials/activities was from the Center to the organization and the organization adopted the materials to be disseminated according to its own time schedule.

 Methodology: Partnerships with other education organizations were initiated by the Education Outreach Director of the EUV ERC. The organizations that were targeted were those that were local to the regions that each of the Center core Institutions served. Through one-on-one meetings, the needs of the partnership organizations and the EUV ERC were discussed. These meetings sometimes resulted in incredibly creative and fruitful collaborations that culminated in new activities and ideas. In other cases, the meetings resulted in the simple adoption of EUV ERC OWL activities.

 Impact/benefits: The sustainability of Education Outreach Programs is important for the continuity and longevity of the OWL activities that were developed at the EUV ERC. One of the drawbacks about educational programs in general is that they are offered for a limited duration based on funding and then they are gone. This troublesome outcome delivers an even bigger blow since programs take a little while to become integrated; while few clientele would be impacted if a program was discontinued in 1-3 years, because numbers and popularity increase with time, when a 10-year program ends, it adversely affects the most number of people it has ever effected. The incorporation of OWL activities into other Education Organization not only insures that these activities will impact a greater number of K-12 audiences it also provides a sense of permanency to STEM programs that can change depending on funding.

 Evaluation/Assessment: Surveys are used for assessment and feedback to make improvements.

 Sustainability: Once OWL-related activities are adopted by Education Organizations, the sustainability is dependent on the funding for that organization as well as by choices made by directors of that organization to run the programs. Annual check-ins by the Education Outreach Director of the graduated Center can ensure the continued offerings of the programs.

 Tips: It is important to make sure that activities connect back to the mention of the NSF and ERC programs. In addition, because the goal of outreach activities is to increase interest in STEM careers, the inclusion of career material is advised.


4.7.3   Center:The Gordon Center for Subsurface Sensing and Imaging (CenSSIS), a graduated ERC (2000–2010)

 Lead Institution: Northeastern University

 Center Director: Dr. Michael Silevitch, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

 Name of Programs: Young Scholars (YS), STEM Field Trip Series, Research Experiences for Teachers (RET)


 Type of Program:Precollege education and outreach

 Program Synopsis:Educational outreach efforts associated with The Gordon Center for Subsurface Sensing and Imaging were led by Precollege Director Claire Duggan, former Associate Director for CESAME (The Center for the Enhancement of Science and Mathematics Education) and current Director for Programs for The Center for STEM Education at Northeastern University (NU) ( Several programs were developed and/or refined during the active NSF award period for Gordon CenSSIS. These include the STEM Field Trip Series and The Summer Science Program, in addition to the required Young Scholars and RET programs. Following CenSSIS’ graduation, each program is now institutionalized at the university, supported through a variety of funding sources and strategies.

 Northeastern University Young Scholars Program (NUYSP)

 The NUYSP was established in 1989 in collaboration with an NSF Industry-University Cooperative Research Center and was supported by NSF directly through the YSP initiative for several years. During that time period the program reached approximately 150 students. The NUYSP program was re-established in 2004 through support from the Noyce Foundation. Since that time, 208 high school students have spent six weeks at Northeastern University conducting research, primarily in collaboration with faculty in the College of Engineering. Efforts are made to maintain contact with program alumni both directly and through supporting social medial sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook. There are over 150 members of the NUYSP Facebook page that interact and support each other in addition to maintaining contact with university faculty and staff. The most recent survey of participants had 135 respondents, 133 of which reported majoring in a STEM discipline. Of the 133 in STEM disciplines, 57 reported majoring in Engineering.

 The model developed at NU has been refined to become a comprehensive learning experience for program participants and staff. YSP offers future scientists and engineers a unique opportunity for hands-on experience while still in high school. It also provides faculty and graduate students across the campus with the opportunity to mentor the next generation of STEM professionals. The program is open to greater Boston area applicants who have completed their sophomore or junior year in high school. All students are provided a stipend for the program’s duration. What separates NU from other universities is also what separates the YSP from other enrichment programs for high school students: experience-based learning. NU combines classroom studies with experiential learning to allow the practical applications to come alive. The YSP program allows students to apply their base knowledge in the areas of science, technology, math and engineering in a way that deepens their understanding, and prepares them for careers in these fields.

 The program continues to maintain a balance between academic and social components, providing students an opportunity to build relationships with university students and faculty in addition to fellow participants. Our objective is to create and support a STEM community well beyond the six-week summer experience.

 Recruitment, Selection, and Demographics

 Students are selected through both their application and recommendations. Application materials are distributed by Boston area high school STEM teacher networks and guidance counselors, and are available on our web site ( These networks are expanded and maintained through various STEM Education programs and professional development courses. The Center maintains teacher databases, which are updated as new teachers recommend students and participate in a professional development course, or in an affiliated program, such as the Research Experiences for Teachers program.

 The selection committee comprises staff from NU’s Center for STEM Education and the College of Engineering. Student applications, which consist of short essay questions, an official high school transcript, and two letters of recommendation (with at least one from a science, technology, engineering, or math teacher), are reviewed and rated by at least three staff members. Essay responses help provide insight into the students interests, personality and motivations in STEM.

 Each year approximately 24 students participate in this program. Students come from a variety of cities and towns in the Greater Boston area. The program does not discriminate or give preference on the basis of gender, race or ethnicity. The goal is to maintain a balance between male and female participants and to recruit and publicize most heavily in school districts where resources are limited. Preference is given to first generation college students.

 Program Components

 Laboratory research experience: Students are awarded a weekly stipend while spending approximately 25 hours per week in research laboratories. Students are assigned in teams to laboratories, many affiliated with our research centers.

 Career/research exploration:Students participate in a weekly seminar series spanning a wide range of topics. Presentations made in 2013 included an introduction to several of our large research centers, including the Gordon Center for Subsurface Sensing and Imaging, ALERT (Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence) and the Center for High Rate Nanomanufacturing. Other presentations given during the students’ homeroom session included introductions to the various disciplines of Engineering, including Biomedical, Chemical, Civil, Electrical and Computer, and Mechanical and Industrial Engineering. During the summer of 2013, we introduced a series of seminars focused on Innovation, providing students the opportunity to hear first-hand from NU student entrepreneurs.

 Education and career counseling: A general overview of engineering education for undergraduate students is presented by the Dean's Office of the College of Engineering and the Department of Cooperative Education, and acquaints students with the nuts and bolts of careers for scientists and engineers. Students are also provided beneficial information about searching for and applying to colleges from the NU Admissions Office in addition to learning about careers pathways from representatives from our COOP program. Students also work on a college essay from the Common Application throughout the summer, receiving feedback from staff and their peers. By the end of the program each student has one completed essay he or she can use during their college application process.

 Field excursions:A variety of corporate and government site visits are conducted so students can see and speak with scientists and engineers in action.

 Experience college life: YSP participants become acquainted with college life, work directly with undergraduate and graduate students, and have access to university recreational and educational facilities.

 Online Resources:Students are required to maintain an electronic journal and laboratory notebook. Additionally, a closed web site is used to provide program updates to the students. This secure web site is used to provide both program and supporting information for STEM careers, along with information on the college application process, upcoming STEM competitions and available scholarships. The site also paves the way for future electronic networking and support of program alumni.

 Contact person/website: Claire Duggan and/or

 Dates of Operation/Timeframe: The NUYSP program runs for six weeks each summer and is supported through callback sessions and on-line mentoring and support during the academic year.

 Background: The Northeastern University Young Scholars Program (YSP) was launched in 1989 in response to a growing national shortage of qualified U.S. citizens moving into STEM careers. The YSP model provides rising high school juniors and seniors with a paid research experience alongside faculty in College of Arts and Sciences and College of Engineering laboratories, coupled with career awareness seminars, college application counseling, and field trips to local corporations and government organizations. The first generation of this program ran from 1989-1997. In 2004, it was reestablished with funding from the Noyce Foundation, and has continued to be offered each summer.

 Methodology: The NUYSP and RET programs are coordinated by an organizational unit, The Center for STEM, that supports educational outreach of our research centers in addition to individual efforts of STEM faculty.

 Impact/benefits: Northeastern University began to support K-12 educational efforts over twenty years ago with the early research efforts of the ERC Director, Michael Silevitch. Dr. Silevitch ’s vision to build and support an education pathway for students interested in STEM led to the establishment of two educational centers in addition to the development of many successful STEM program efforts. Initiatives such as the NUYSP and RET are now institutionalized at the university. They provide an early introduction for students interested in STEM in addition to providing university students the opportunity to communicate their knowledge of science and engineering. The programs have had a multiplier effect, with program alumni now in faculty and professional positions deeply committed to supporting the STEM pipeline.

 Evaluation/Assessment: The evaluation of both the RET and YSP projects was originally overseen by SageFox Consulting Group. Data collection was and continues to be conducted by program staff.

Evaluation efforts are centered on the collection of both summative and formative data. The first serves to determine the extent to which the programs are meeting their stated goals while the second serves to provide feedback as to how the programs might be improved. Our evaluation efforts continue meeting these two evaluation objectives; however future evaluations of both the RET and YSP programs will place greater emphasis on evaluating the learning environment in the laboratory.

 Assessment Methods:

 Participant surveys: Online surveys are conducted at the end of the summer, and as a follow-up at the end of the academic year after each program experience. These surveys are utilized to primarily assess participant’s experience in each of these programs.

 Mentor surveys: Online surveys are conducted at the beginning and end of each program to assess the mentor’s experience, perception of outcomes, and understand the efficacy of program support.

 Lab team observations: Laboratory visits are conducted to examine the lab dynamics and subsequent participant outcomes for both the YSP and RET programs.

 Interviews and focus groups: Post program and end of academic year interviews are conducted with participants to supplement and clarify survey data.

 Tracking of program activities: Throughout the year, schedules of events are defined and monitored. These events include recruitment activities, orientation for each program, supporting professional development courses and supporting program activities.

 Sustainability: Educational outreach efforts of The Center for STEM, the educational implementation arm of Gordon CenSSIS is supported by institutional funding, foundation and corporate support, private donors in addition to supplements from federal sources.


  • Plan for sustainability of your educational programs in concert with planning for sustainability of the Center itself.
  • Broaden participation of faculty and students across the college in the delivery of educational outreach components.

  • Provide pathways for undergraduates to assume leadership roles in educational outreach.

  • Identify and support faculty interested in pursuing complementary education initiatives such as ITEST, S-STEM, STEP, and RET sites.

  • Maintain contact with partner schools and community organizations by providing information on STEM opportunities of interest.

  • Market your educational outreach efforts through university and local media.

  • Provide opportunities for your industrial partners to engage directly with K-12 program participants.


4.7.4   Center:The Gordon Center for Subsurface Sensing and Imaging (CenSSIS), a graduated ERC (2000–2010)


Lead Institution: Northeastern University


Center Director: Dr. Michael Silevitch, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering


Name of Programs: Summer Science Program(NUSSP)


 Type of Program:Precollege outreach


 Program Synopsis: Northeastern University prides itself on interdisciplinary research, urban engagement, and the integration of classroom learning with real-world experience. The Center for STEM Education has launched a number of initiatives ( focused on enhancing achievement of urban students in collaboration with Gordon CenSSIS, including STEP UP, the Young Scholars, the STEM field trip series and the Research Experience for Teachers Program. Additional Northeastern initiatives focus on enhancing diversity in research-based fields (GEM, NUPRIME, LSAMP). Northeastern is committed to supporting our urban community.


 Our summer program effort for middle school students began in 2006 and has provided an opportunity to explore STEM as participants in a unique multi week summer program for over 325 middle school students to date from the Boston area. This proposal seeks to expand our current two-week summer model to three weeks, with additional follow-up opportunities for program alumni. Participants will continue to be drawn from the from greater Boston area utilizing the expertise and talents of staff, faculty, and students from NU and the greater Boston community.



 The Northeastern University Summer STEM Program (NUSSP) is designed to be a free academic program open to students entering the 6th, 7th and 8th grades. The program emphasizes increasing students' mathematics, science, engineering and design skills, introducing them to college life, and stimulating their interest in associated fields as a potential career path.

 Each day, students attend classes that include problem solving, study, research, writing and communication skills incorporated with biology, chemistry, physics, design concepts, and field excursions. Classes are taught by licensed classroom teachers and university faculty and staff.

 The program is built on a guiding THEME: Designing our future - today! Students are introduced to a Core Problem and subsequently engage in lessons and activities to develop skills and understanding to address collaboratively the challenge proposed. They produce a culminating project, a future city that is presented to parents, faculty and staff at the end of the summer experience.


 The program takes place on the Northeastern University main campus in addition to offering several field trip experiences for participants.


 The program runs for two weeks during the month of July and will be further supported with several callback sessions during the school year.


 The mission of the NUSSP is to enable youth entering grades 6, 7, and 8 to develop and achieve their full potential through support of social, recreational and STEM-based educational lessons and activities. The program is guided by current recommendations for effective out of school time programming and has embraced “A Trilogy for Student Success” to guide our core program components.


 Our Core principles are to:

 • Encourage education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)

 • Encourage and motivate youth to pursue STEM careers

 • Foster teamwork, leadership and citizenship

 Goals of the NUSSP:

 • To educate students in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)

 • To engage students in the practical aspects of STEM.

 • To introduce students to college life

 • To inspire students to pursue careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)

 • To provide mentoring and support for participants and their families beyond the summer experience



 • Teach hands-on, minds-on STEM activities.

 • Incorporate activities that nurture and develop 21st century skills such as; communication skills (written, oral, etc…)

 • Integrate field excursions to expose students to real-world STEM applications.

 • Incorporate project based learning experiences that integrate content and process skills developed throughout the summer program.

 • Present opportunities for students to interact with engineers, scientist, researchers, and other professionals

 The NUSSP embraces research that suggests there are several key factors necessary for students to succeed in STEM subjects and careers. They are Engagement, Capacity and Continuity.The two week experience is built on the theme, “Young Inventors: Designing our Future. It allows participants to explore various STEM disciplines in an integrated, applicable way. Students begin by identifying the importance of STEM inventions throughout history. As they relate this to their daily lives, they begin to explore the design process. By applying this knowledge, they build and construct their own models to solve real-life problems in NU labs. Based on feedback from campers and ideas from other camp, this year we will take the emphasis off a culminating bridge design project and add a “utopian city” project, allowing students to work collaboratively to apply concepts learned throughout the summer program to a creative project, with models of each lesson added to a board representing a city of the future.Through integrating engineering into the various STEM activities we hope to provide students with a better understanding of engineering, and the design process and engineering professions in addition to the skills and attributes that makes a successful engineer. Students will learn how they might become a contributing member of society as the producer rather than the consumer of the STEM inventions of the future.

 Tips: Not available