University of Virginia
University of Virginia



George Mason Alliance Combines

Existing Programs with Innovation

to Assist Students


George Mason University's (GMU's) Alliance staff continues to complement traditional program elements with innovation in order to provide strong support for its LSAMP scholars.  In addition to book stipends, peer tutoring and mentoring, a summer Bridge program, REUs, and distribution of information for summer scholarship opportunities, Mason has developed new strategies for asessing student development.

In particular, GMU created a survey instrument for measuring the summer Bridge program's value to its participants, and for soliciting information to be used in programmatic decisions. Examples include the idea of pairing and training student peer mentors and "knowledge experts" with study sessions.

Mason Alliance students also recruited and informed potential STEM majors about opportunities. They assisted other students with scholarship applications, represented the Alliance to prospective STEM majors at the Admissions Open House and in information sessions for potential engineering and computer students.

GMU Alliance students initiated their own student group on campus, joining Elizabeth City State University, whose group also started up in 2009. We look forward to hearing about group activities and ideas to share with other VA-NC Alliance partner schools!


Student Participants at GMU Internalize LSAMP Program Goals

There were 67 Level One LSAMP Program student participants during the fall 2009 semester at George Mason University. Of these 67 students, 57% earned 3.0/4.0 GPAs or better and 23% earned 3.5/4.0 GPAs. Additionally, 58% of these students have cumulative GPAs greater than 3.0/ 4.0, and 51% of the non-freshman students had improved their cumulative GPAs from the spring to hte fall semesters of 2009. Notably, three Electrical/Computer Engineering majors who earned perfect 4.00/4.00 GPAs and two (2) Computer Science majors earned 4.00 and 3.92 GPAs respectively.

All of these top performing LSAMP Program student participants had fall 2009 semester course schedules that were loaded with extremely demanding courses in mathematics, physics, computing, engineering, and the sciences.

In spite of having to spend long hours studying and completing course projects, these students have accepted LSAMP Program goals to strive toward academic excellence as their own. They are forming study groups and encouraging each other as well as developing strong bonds through supportive organizations such as NSBE.

These student participants are far more likely to be found using one-to-one tutoring and engaging in various types of collaborative learning sessions. It is gratifying to observe these 67 students putting forth their best effort, using LSAMP Program academic support services, and attending workshops that will equip them with skills necessary to become more successful learners.

The end results will be a much larger percentage of underrepresented minority students graduating in STEM majors with better GPAs than can be found in the corresponding underrepresented minority student group of students who are not program participants.