Pass The Torch - Dissemination
Pass the Torch Alliance
All participating Pass The Torch FIPSE Grant Dissemination representatives gathered together on July 25, 2006 to discuss future plans for the Pass The Torch program at their institutuions. The meeting was hosted by Diana Lizzarga at U.C. Berkeley.

L to R, Anabel Arreola Foothill College Pass The Torch Director/Counselor,
Rose Myers FH VP of Student Development & Instruction,
Robert Garcia FH Pass The Torch Coordinator of Outreach
& Team Development,
Carol Hunter U.C. Davis Tutor Supervisor,
Lily Lum San Francisco Community College Math Instructor Director of Pass The Torch,
Frances A. Gusman FH Dean of Student Outreach & Retention,
Diana L. Lizarraga U.C. Berkeley Pass The Torch Director.

Community Colleges

Pass the Torch logo

Pass The Torch is sponsored in part by the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) and the U.S. Department of Education.
At this time at mid way of the grant, intensive efforts are put forth to include Community Colleges as adopting colleges of the Foothill model. A total of two Community Colleges, each located in one of the two University campuses, are targeted. Students that participate in the Community College Pass the Torch will be supported in their goals to transfer to either U.C. Davis or U.C. Berkeley.

In addition to replicating the Foothill model to two community colleges, a second goal is to establish outreach to prospective U.C. Davis and U.C. Berkeley students while they are still attending Community Colleges. This goal will be achieved through collaboration with the Outreach Services on these two campuses. Their representatives will be provided a FIPSE Pass the Torch University of California Pass the Torch brochure to use when informing underrepresented students about Pass the Torch. The names of these students and their contact information will be referred to the Pass the Torch programs on the two campuses who will then contact them with additional information illustrative of the benefits of participation in Pass the Torch after they transfer.

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The FIPSE Grant

In September, 2003, Foothill received a Fund for the Improvement of Instruction (FIPSE) grant to disseminate Pass the Torch to four-year universities. At the invitation of Dr. Bernadine Fong, President of Foothill, the University of California Davis and the University of California Berkeley agreed to become adapting colleges of the Foothill College’s Pass the Torch. The FIPSE grant will continue through June 2005. Outreach efforts are directed to Community Colleges located within the feeder areas of the two U.C. campuses. If successful, these efforts will create a pipeline between Pass the Torch in the community colleges and the four -year universities. Through this pipeline, community colleges can offer students transferring to those colleges a greater support in their transfer efforts. The universities, on the other hand, can increase their awareness of these students needs and respond with development of expanded resources to address their overhaul college needs.

We have already seen this expansion occur at both U.C. Davis and U.C. Berkeley. Please continue reading our Dissemination link to see how this grant is making a change in how community college underrepresented transfer students are being affected by the grant and how community colleges will be a part of these changes in the immediate future

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U.C. Davis Pass The Torch

University of California, Davis
Pass The Torch
2004-06 Summary

The Learning Skills Center continued to provide a variety of academic and personal support services to our Pass the Torch students during 2004-05 and 2005-06. Through Advising Services and the Learning Skills Center, Pass the Torch students were encouraged to use resources that provided opportunities for success.
  • help with finding and selecting internships
  • guidance in locating research opportunities
  • assistance with academic advising
  • assistance with getting financial aid
  • information about career choices and opportunities for graduate study
  • periodic group presentations on topics of interest to transfer students
  • networking with students, staff, and faculty
  • tutoring in any course
  • daily drop-in and workshops in math, chemistry, biology, statistics, and writing assistance
  • study skills workshops

Pass the Torch students were invited to luncheons throughout the past two years held in the Learning Skills Center. Speakers from various campus departments attended to share information and meet the students. Academic resources were emphasized as Team Members may request academic assistance in any class needed. Our goal is to promote resources and services that will help Pass the Torch students achieve both their academic and professional goals.

In a three quarter training program, our Team Leaders received extensive training in cultural awareness and teaching strategies. Both Leaders and Members were provided with brochures describing the benefits of participating in the program. As communities were developed within the Learning Skills Center, Team Members and Leaders were closely monitored for attendance and success.

During 2004-05 the Learning Skills Center provided academic assistance to 73 Team Members in 33 courses. In 2005-06, 58 Team Members received academic assistance in 29 courses. Many Team Members requested assistance in multiple courses. Team Leaders received high evaluation ratings in attitude, competency, independence, and overall experience by Team Members.

The Learning Skills Center has been very fortunate to have this program on our campus.

Thank you,
Ward Stewart, Director

Phone: 530 - 752-2013
FAX: 530 - 754-8420

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U.C. Berkeley Pass The Torch

Currently we have twenty-seven Pass the Torch (PTT) Scholars in our program. Most students are majoring in Math, however we do also have students who are majoring in Physics, Engineering, and Chemistry. Half are women and half are men, sixty percent are underrepresented minorities, and all are low-income. In addition, ninety percent are first-generation college students. In our comfortable student center our program has continued to offer PTT Scholars support through upper division academic support teams, pre-graduate school activities, advising, undergraduate science research, and science-related work opportunities. In addition, we have created a new program called “PTT Teacher Training Program” which is a small subset of seven of our students who share the goal of becoming math teachers once they graduate.

Download PDF file for the complete story.

Steven Chin Director
Steven Chin Director

These pictures were taken at University of California Berkeley Pass the Torch dinner orientation for their new students entering Pass the Torch in Fall 2004.

All of the Pass the Torch members transferred from a California Community College.  Each represents an underrepresented minority population. All are mathematics majors with junior standing.

Click on any image to view a larger picture.

Dear Jean,
I've included below an update on our activities in Pass the Torch at Berkeley. I have made several proposed changes to the model, while keeping the spirit of community building, academic excellence, and student diversity at the forefront of the UCB Pass the Torch program. All of these changes stem from the institutional differences between a community college curriculum and students, and a world-class Mathematics department curriculum and students. I am sorry that I did not forsee that these institutional differences would require such large changes in the Pass the Torch model. I'm hoping that you will understand and approve these changes. Thank you for the opportunity to look more closely at our upper division mathematics culture at UC Berkeley and to discover what we need to cultivate a strong community of diverse mathematics majors.

Several changes to the original activities have been made to accomodate the differences between the Pass the Torch model at Foothill Community College and UC Berkeley.

1) OUTREACH AND COUNSELING Recruitment of students began in Spring and Summer before their Fall admission to UC Berkeley rather than the Fall when they entered UC Berkeley. This change was needed because students were not as responsive to contact during the first few weeks of the Fall semester due to busy work and class schedules, the many different demands on their lives during the transition to UC Berkeley, and the large number of invitations they received from campus groups to join various organizations.

2) OUTREACH AND COUNSELING Study team leaders were chosen from graduate students in mathematics rather than undergraduates. This change was needed because undergraduate students were not confident in their abilities to serve as instructors for upper division math courses. These courses are very challenging courses that prepare students for graduate study in mathematics at prestegious universities like UC Berkeley. Vigorous recruitment among the most talented of PDP's undergraduate math majors yielded no interest in leading teams in these areas.

To meet the need for team leaders for upper division mathematics courses, we turned to graduate students in mathematics. On a positive note, these students are chosen based on their knowledge of the material and their teaching abilities. During their first year at UC Berkeley, graduate students must demonstrate their mastery of the upper division mathematics courses by passing an exam. In addition, graduate students have undergraduate teaching experience and have taken training courses in teaching.

3) INSTRUCTION AND TEAM DEVELOPMENT Team development was originally planned to include training classes for team leaders by a mathematics faculty member. Given that team leaders are no longer undergraduate students, the nature of team development has changed. In the original model, when team leaders were undergraduates, a faculty member was required to ensure that leaders had a high level of subject matter expertise and that their instructional techniques were sufficient. In the new model, with graduate students as team leaders - subject matter expertise is high, and their instructional ability are at the level of many first year community college faculty.

Faced with a change in study leader teaching skills and expertise from the level of talented second year undergraduate to the level of first year community college faculty - we are planning on making the following changes in Team Development. Rather than conduct weekly meetings with graduate student team leaders, led by a faculy member in mathematics, a less directive and time intensive model is proposed.

The project director, with a Ph.D. in Science and Mathematics Education, will keep in weekly contact with team leaders through e-mail and phone to monitor student success and any progress. Face to face meetings will be held on an as needed basis. Ongoing contact logs of team meetings will continue to be kept to assure that students are receiving regular support that they need. The Pass the Torch advisor will keep in touch with both students and graduate student team leaders to assure that match between students and graduate student team leader is a good one. Any indications from Pass the Torch student, team leader, advisor, or project director, of problems will be addressed immediately.

Budget implications: Funding for the mathematics faculty member would be shifted to the project director who directly supervises the entire Pass the Torch team of graduate student team leaders, counselor/advisors, and support staff.

4) COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT Central to the PDP model is the development of a supportive community of students striving for academic excellence. In the traditional model created at UC Berkeley, this community is formed in the gateway courses in mathematics. The Foothill Pass the Torch model formed their community from students in similar gateway mathematics courses at the community college.

At UC Berkeley, only one or two underrepresented minority transfer students take a particular upper division course at a time. This is too small a number of students for the course to form the common basis for a supportive community. At the upper division mathematics level, the unifying common interest outside of succeeding in coursework is successful application to graduate school. Central to succeeding in application to graduate school in mathematics is research experience. Thus, we propose to center the formation of a supportive community of Pass the Torch students around preparation for graduate school and undergraduate research.

Pass the Torch at UC Berkeley will be formed around a communty of students interested in graduate school and careers utilizing their background in mathematics. Career and graduate school seminars will be provided for students to learn about these opportunities and work together to plan their next steps after their Bachelors degree. Pass the Torch will encourage students to apply to research opportunities at UC Berkeley. Principal activities of Pass the Torch at UC Berkeley will be students engaged in research, applying for graduate school, and students engaged in mathematics internships and applying for math-related jobs.

The Pass the Torch newsletter will highlight student activities and opportunities in undergraduate research, career advising, and internships.

Berkeley's Pass The Torch Newsletter (Spring 2004 - Fall 2003)

Steven Chin
October 31, 2003

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Pass the Torch Dissemination at UC Berkeley Continues to Flourish

Dr. V. Jones, Rose Myers and Francis GusmanAt UC Berkeley, graduating students in the Pass the Torch Upper-Division Math Program recently received Pass the Torch stoles at a special ceremony. The ceremony included Fields Medalist Dr. V. Jones. The Fields Medal is considered the Nobel Prize in mathematics. Rose Myers Foothill College Vice President, Frances Gusman Dean of Student Outreach & Retention and Robert Garcia Pass The Torch Coordinator of Outreach & Team Development assisted in the ceremony

Math Students pose with Medalist Dr. V. Jones

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