Using an Extracurricular Interdepartmental Collaborative Water Analysis Project to Promote Student Engagement at a Commuter Community College


  • Yasmin Edwards Bronx Community College
  • Diane Banks Bronx Community College
  • Dickens St Hilaire Bronx Community College
  • Aneska Tejada Bronx Community College
  • Grissel Dejesus Bronx Community College


A culture of student participation at community colleges has been shown to improve retention and graduation rates. At urban commuter community colleges most students work part-time or full-time in addition to the rigors of a full-time course load. Therefore, convincing these students to allocate time for extracurricular activities is an ongoing challenge for faculty.  Utilizing the student involvement theory, this study applied interdisciplinary research between three Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programs at Bronx Community College (BCC) to foster extracurricular engagement among participating students majoring in Liberal Arts - Biology option, Chemistry and the Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT) programs. During the fall 2018 semester, students were invited to work closely with three faculty members representing each program to conduct a water analysis project.  Each faculty member worked with students on an aspect of the project specific to their discipline. The Chemistry department faculty member worked with students to quantify the anions present in the water samples. The MLT faculty member guided students in the microbiological evaluation of the samples and the Biology faculty member instructed students on the significance of water quality testing and its relevance to public health. This project was not funded therefore students were invited to participate based on their desire to work closely with faculty in a laboratory setting and the participating faculty members volunteered to work with students.


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Author Biographies

Yasmin Edwards, Bronx Community College

Yasmin Edwards is an Associate Professor at Bronx Community College. She is the Biotechnology Program Coordinator and Biology Club Advisor.

Diane Banks, Bronx Community College

Program Director for the Medical Laboratory Technician Program in The Department of Biological Sciences, Assistant Professor.

Dickens St Hilaire, Bronx Community College

Chemistry, Earth Sciences, and Environmental Sciences Department, Bronx Community College, Assistant Professor

Aneska Tejada, Bronx Community College

Aneska Tejada, Medical Laboratory Technician, A.A.S., Bronx Community College

Grissel Dejesus, Bronx Community College

Grissel Dejesus is a chemistry major and student participant now pursuing a B.S. degree in chemistry.




How to Cite

Edwards, Y., Banks, D., St Hilaire, D., Tejada, A. ., & Dejesus, G. (2021). Using an Extracurricular Interdepartmental Collaborative Water Analysis Project to Promote Student Engagement at a Commuter Community College. Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal, 4(1), 6–13. Retrieved from



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