- NSF-PAR ID:
- Date Published:
- Journal Name:
- Journal of computing sciences in colleges
- Page Range / eLocation ID:
- Medium: X
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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Engineering‐oriented bridge programs and camps are popular strategies for broadening participation. The students who often serve as counselors and mentors in these programs are integral to their success.
Predicated on the belief that mentoring contributes to positive outcomes for the mentors themselves, we sought to understand how undergraduate student mentors approached and experienced their work with a 6‐day overnight, NSF‐sponsored youth engineering camp (YEC). This study was guided by the question: How did YEC camp counselors approach and experience their roles as mentors?
We conducted an exploratory qualitative study of four Black undergraduate engineering students' experiences with and approaches to near‐peer mentorship in the YEC program. Data consisted of transcripts from two post‐program interviews and one written reflection from each participant. We analyzed data through abductive coding and the funds of knowledge framework.
Through subsequent interpretation of code categories, we found YEC mentors: (1) engaged in altruistic motivations as YEC mentors, (2) leveraged previous experiences to guide their approaches to mentorship, and (3) engaged in self‐directed learning and development.
This study highlights the knowledge and strategies that YEC mentors drew upon in their roles, and how they sought and achieved various personal, academic, and professional benefits. Insights from this study illustrate how near‐peer mentors can support their and others' engineering aspirations.