The University of Akron’s Zip To Industry program offers first-year science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) majors opportunities to shadow upperclass UA students already on cooperative education and internship assignments. Funded by the National Science Foundation, this research-based program studies whether first-year students who participate in job-shadowing are more likely to continue with their STEM majors than first-year students who do not receive the intervention.
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Every year, selected first-year students complete between two and five different, four-hour company visits in which they are paired, one-to-one, with a UA co-op/intern student on assignment at regional employers. Through these shadowing experiences, first-year students discover what people employed in their areas of interest do on a typical workday, connect their UA coursework with real-world applications, and identify the skills they will need to succeed in STEM careers.
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2020-2021 Student Selection
Article: Shadowing Prepares STEM Students
Grant Award Announcement
Zip To Industry: A First-Year Corporate-STEM Connection Program is made possible by a grant from the National Science Foundation, award 1726464. The program is an initiative from the College of Engineering, the College of Applied Science and Technology, the Butchel College for Arts and Sciences, the LeBron James Family Foundation College of Education, and Career Services.