Discipline: Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences
Subcategory: STEM Research
Marie Hammond - Tennessee State University
Co-Author(s): Dean S. Keith Hargrove and John Hall, Tennessee State University
The STEM workforce remains predominantly white and male (NSF, 2015), with a ‘leaky pipeline’ through which under-represented minority (URM) students leave STEM fields (Blickenstaff, 2005, p. 369). For example, in 2009, about half of the African American students who intended to major in a STEM field actually graduated with this degree (NSF, 2014). Career development (as used by STEM faculty) efforts have focused on curricular/program development, advising improvement, and research-experience development, including mentoring (Byars-Winston et al., 2011; Siritunga et al., 2011). These efforts to reduce this disparity have focused on curriculum and research-mentoring with little effect. There is another definition of career development, within the field of Vocational Psychology, which focuses on the knowledge, skills and abilities to understand career-related situations, problem-solve around those and make use of information to plan ways to reach one’s future goal. This project reports on the development of a research-based, Afro-centric career management intervention for STEM students. Data were gathered from 340 STEM students (control group n = 160; treatment group n = 180). Results suggested that three factors were significantly affected by the intervention: STEM coping efficacy, social supports, and ethnic identity. A post hoc analysis to explore the relationship of demographic information to these issues found that individuals whose parents had more than a high school diploma and less than a bachelor’s degree benefited the most from the intervention. Refinement of the intervention based on recent research is in progress in order to increase the effectiveness of the intervention across all groups.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): This study was supported by a grant from NSF/HBCU-UP/BPR (NSF 12-519).
Faculty Advisor: None Listed,