Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date




Publication Title

2016 ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings



Conference Name

2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


The project, Stern2STEM, aims to advance STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education through the preparation of student veterans to pursue baccalaureate STEM degrees and support the re-employment of these veterans into the Department of Defense (DoD) and the wider defense support industry. The program builds on the training that veterans have received in highly skilled technical areas, both in the classroom and “on-the-job”, to develop system level expertise in their respective technical disciplines. Key components of the program include: (1) establishing a mechanism for outreach and recruitment; (2) providing leveling, tutoring, mentoring, and support for students; (3) teaching and learning through proven pedagogical practices and through sound academic advising; (4) partnering with the DoD community to facilitate student career placement in the DoD STEM workforce; (5) providing workforce development for DoD STEM professionals. This paper will discuss the academic challenges that student veterans face while in higher education and the current STEM pipelines as students move through their college to professional careers. The early impact of academic tutoring, professional advising, mentorship, career placement, and recruitment of current service members into STEM disciplines through involvement with Stern2STEM will be discussed. Through Stern2STEM’s systematic interventions, the project has the potential to have a significant impact on the broader STEM education community as many of the principles, lessons learned, and tools developed will prove valuable for institutions which have a large population of student veterans.


© 2016 American Society for Engineering Education, ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings, New Orleans, Louisiana, June 26-August 28, 2016.

Original Publication Citation

Dean, A. W., Schwalm, C., Heaney, P. S., Vahala, L., Shen, Y., & Michaeli, J. G. (2016). A pilot program for the recruitment and education of navy veterans based on system-level technical expertise and leadership maturation developed during service. Paper presented at the 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26391