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Active Learning-Based Educational Program (LEAP)

Published August 27, 2021

An Active Learning-Based Educational Program (LEAP) for Hispanic STEM Students through industry-university partnership

With a $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation, California State University, Long Beach is launching a new program to train a new generation of highly skilled Hispanic scientists and engineers

The primary goal is to train Hispanic STEM students to become well-rounded engineers and scientists with advanced academic knowledge and problem-solving skills with the potential to address needs of the US economy and to create a diverse workforce in STEM-related industries. LEAP will contribute to the closure of the diversity gap in the retention of upper-division STEM students. Dr. Banafsheh Behzad from COB serves as the business advisor for this program. Her role is to coach the students in advancing their projects from concept to reality. This involves mentoring students as they set up and implement business action plans. The advisor guides students by giving functional finance advice including cost effectiveness analysis of projects and information on various business improvement techniques. Students are required to take a course offered by COB to familiarize themselves with basic knowledge of business topics. In today’s highly competitive global market, it is beneficial for STEM students to be equipped with certain business-related knowledge. This program aims to train a well-rounded workforce and enhance future advancement toward upper-level leadership positions. This course provides STEM students with tools necessary for taking leadership initiatives, making managerial decisions, and evaluating technology innovation. Students are introduced to principles of marketing, business finance, and supply chain management theory.