Discipline: Science & Mathematics Education
Subcategory: STEM Research
Jillian Wendt - University of the District of Columbia
Co-Author(s): Amanda Rockinson-Szapkiw, University of Memphis; Ayana Conway, Virginia State University; Jaylin Cole, University of the District of Columbia; Shanaiya Fletcher, University of the District of Columbia
The NSF HBCU-UP BPR Project described in this abstract is a collaborative effort between two historically black institutions, University of the District of Columbia (UDC) and Virginia State University (VSU), and one public, predominately white institution with a large minority population, University of Memphis. The aim of the project is to develop, implement, and evaluate a blended (e.g. face-to-face and virtual) science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) peer mentorship program to assist female, minority undergraduate students in developing their career self-efficacy in STEM and to improve their persistence and intent to graduate from a STEM program and, ultimately, pursue a job in STEM. In this project, female, minority graduate students mentor undergraduate students both face-to-face and virtually; thus, a secondary aim is to build graduate students’ mentorship skills and inspire their persistence in STEM. While all minorities may participate in this project, the project is primarily aimed at underrepresented minority females in STEM programs. The overarching goal of this project is to pilot and assess the effectiveness of a blended (i.e. face-to-face and virtual) STEM peer mentorship program to support the success and persistence of underrepresented minority females in STEM degrees and to broaden participation of underrepresented minorities in STEM fields. As noted in the literature, mentoring is cited again and again as an essential element in the growth and development of individuals, both male and females, in any discipline (Galbraith & Cohen, 1995). Mentoring has also been cited as an important element in assisting women in advancing progress and increasing influence in male dominated fields (Hill et al., 2010; Bova, 1995) such as STEM. However, to ensure that the mentoring relationship is effective, it is important that the mentor develop skills and understand the function of the mentor (Galbraith & Cohen, 1995). Thus, providing graduate students with formal training and experience for building mentorship competency so that they can effectively mentor undergraduate students and can develop skills relevant to the workplace is a component of this program. This poster will explain the rationale of the project, project development, and project implementation in an effort to enhance self-efficacy and intent to persist among minority STEM students.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): NSF award # 1717082
Faculty Advisor: None Listed,