The 2TO4 Project - Facilitated Transition from 2-Year to 4-Year Engineering Studies (WIP) Conference

Connor, KA, Berhane, BT, Chouikha, MF et al. (2023). The 2TO4 Project - Facilitated Transition from 2-Year to 4-Year Engineering Studies (WIP) .

cited authors

  • Connor, KA; Berhane, BT; Chouikha, MF; Velez-Reyes, M; Sullivan, BJ; Klein, M; Lagunas, Y; Muskett, M; Nastiuk, A; Alvarado, S; Hibbler, E



  • The Inclusive Engineering Consortium (IEC) is a nonprofit organization that enables collective efforts through equitable partnerships between its 20 MSI members, 12 PWI members and 7 corporate members. The IEC 2TO4 Project builds on its Pathways to Success program to support students who begin their studies at a community college or other 2-year institution by providing financial support (scholarships, internships, academic year stipends), mentoring and other transition support, professional guidance, and community engagement. The 2TO4 network of community colleges (CCs) consists of 20 sub-networks built around the 20 HBCUs, HSIs and TCUs that form the core membership of IEC. Generally, a small number (1-3) of CCs located near a core member educate a few students who transfer to the local 4-year MSI ECE program. Some IEC core members have well-developed relationships with their local CCs and see much larger numbers of transfer students. The vision of 2TO4 is to at least double the total number of students following this pathway to their BS degree in ECE by sharing best practices and providing a robust transition support infrastructure and increased financial support for those students who should have MSIs on their radar as they complete their associates degrees. Participating CCs become members of IEC and engage in equitable partnerships with 4-year MSIs and PWIs, industry and DoD labs to implement the various building blocks of 2TO4. During the first year of this multi-year effort, a base version of 2TO4 is being created. Program leadership is connecting with DoDSTEM and the other CC programs it funds, defining the parameters of 2TO4 1.0 (formalizing the relationship between MSI core members and their key local CCs), and working through institutional challenges with the 60+ program partners. Regular meetings are scheduled, and a general communication infrastructure is being rolled out. The first cohort of student participants is being selected along with individual faculty and staff who are creating and often delivering student support resources. A key element of 2TO4 is students supporting other students. Since all students are new to the program, a significant fraction of the first cohort includes students who have already transferred to their chosen 4-year school. While they have not benefited from any of the IEC 2TO4 transition infrastructure, their experiences provide valuable insights on what works and what does not and their stories are well received by their more junior peers. In this early phase, assessment is focused on the extent to which each programmatic component is implemented with fidelity and the program has built the necessary capacity to support students. Formative feedback from each participant is collected and student progress is tracked. Key to this stage of the project is building trust and equitable partnerships, along with making necessary programmatic changes. There is a lot for each partner to learn from the other program partners.

publication date

  • June 25, 2023