Discipline: Science & Mathematics Education
Subcategory: STEM Research
Jillian Wendt - University of the District of Columbia
Co-Author(s): Amanda Rockinson-Szapkiw, EdD, PhD, University of Memphis; Vivian Jones, PhD, Bethune-Cookman University; SaDaja Keith, 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 Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU), and one public, minority serving institution (MSI) University of Memphis. The project extends a previously funded NSF pilot project (Award #1717082) and expands the development, implementation, and evaluation of a virtual science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) peer mentorship program for underrepresented women and racial and ethnic minority undergraduate students. The goal is to examine the efficacy of a Virtual Peer Mentoring Program to assist students in developing mentorship and leadership skills that are culturally responsive; STEM self-efficacy; science identities; and, ultimately to promote their STEM degree and career persistence. The overarching goal is to broaden the participation of UMW in STEM fields. In this project, women and racial and ethnic minority graduate and senior-level undergraduate students will use a systematic process to mentor a group of freshman, sophomore, and junior STEM undergraduate students in a virtual environment. Prior to engaging in the virtual mentoring relationship both mentors and mentees will participate in a mentor or mentee case-based virtual training modules. The modules will socialize the mentors and mentees to the mentoring relationship as well as build skills in leadership, mentoring, and cultural responsiveness. Finally, self-efficacy, identity, and ultimately STEM degree and career persistence will be promoted through a one-year standardized, virtual mentoring relationship process. Measurable objectives for the project will be evaluated at the end of the program (i.e., summative assessment) and at specified points during the program development (i.e., formative assessment), and a rigorous mixed-method research approach will be employed to examine the efficacy of the program as a standardized, evidenced-based practice for mentoring within HBCU STEM degree programs.
In this presentation, the research team will explain the need for and rationale of the project based on the current research literature and findings from the previous funded pilot project, the conceptual model developed to attend to women and racial and ethnic minority STEM students? experiences within peer mentoring relationships, and the development of mentee training modules as part of the Virtual Peer Mentoring Program. Attendees will gain an understanding of the recent research literature and mentoring reports (e.g., National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2019), where effective peer mentoring practices remain under-researched, the development of a novel conceptual model for peer mentoring among women and racial and ethnic minorities, and research-based practices for implementing peer mentoring programs as HBCUs.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): National Science Foundation (NSF) HBCU-UP Broadening Participation Research (BPR) Project (Award #1912205)
Faculty Advisor: None Listed,
NSF Affiliation: HBCU-UP