skip to main content

This content will become publicly available on July 26, 2022

Title: S-STEM Student Reflections and IDP Process
Student reflections and using individual development plans (IDPs) for mentoring have been an integral part of an NSF S-STEM project focusing on students pursuing baccalaureate degrees in Engineering Technology (ET). The Engineering Technology Scholars – IMProving Retention and Student Success (ETS-IMPRESS) project provides financial support and offers students several high-impact curricular and co-curricular activities to increase the success of academically talented students. This interdisciplinary project brings together the Electrical Engineering Technology, and Computer Network and System Administration programs in the College of Computing and the College of Engineering’s Mechanical Engineering Technology program, with programs in the Pavlis Honors College, an inclusive and unique college designed around high-impact educational practices. An IDP is commonly used in business and industry to assist employees in meeting short- and long-term goals in their professional career. This tool has been adapted for use in the educational setting in a faculty mentoring capacity. The ET program advisors assign the freshman or transfer S-STEM student scholars with faculty mentors to match their area of research interest. The faculty mentors meet with the students a minimum of three to four times a year to review their IDP, make suggestions, and provide input for reaching their goals. The goals of more » the IDP process are to develop a deeper more meaningful relationship between the advisor and student, reflect and develop a strategy for the scholar’s educational and career success, and manage expectations and identify opportunities. In the initial meeting there are several prompts for the student to write about their goals, strengths, weaknesses and perceived challenges. In subsequent meetings the advisor and student revisit the IDP to discuss progress towards those goals. This study will describe some outcomes of the IDP process providing specific examples from each of the ET programs. Although it is difficult to measure the effect of these relationships, it is one of the high impact practices that have been noted as increasing student engagement and retention. The consequences of COVID-19 introducing a virtual environment to the IDP process will also be examined from the viewpoint of both student and advisor. An advantage of the IDP meetings for students is that advisors may provide personal business connections for internship opportunities and/or research projects that otherwise would not be discussed in a typical office hour or classroom session. One of the innovations of the ETS-IMPRESS program was requiring participation in the Honors Pathway Program, which generally emphasizes intrinsic motivation (and does not use GPA in admissions or awarding of credentials). The honors program consists of three seminar classes and four experiential components; for all of these, students write reflections designed to promote their development of self-authorship. Preliminary survey results show no difference between ETS and other honors students in the areas of student motivation, intention to persist, and professional skill development. ETS students see a closer link between their current major and their future career than non-ETS honors students. A comparative analysis of reflections will investigate students’ perceptions of the program’s effect. « less
Authors:
; ;
Award ID(s):
1742286
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10311694
Journal Name:
2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37693
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Recognizing a national and regional need for a highly trained engineering technology STEM workforce with baccalaureate degrees, the Engineering Technology Scholars – IMProving Retention and Student Success (ETS-IMPRESS) project provides financial support and an ecosystem of high-impact curricular and co-curricular activities to increase the success of academically talented students. A total of 12 first-time students will be supported for four years and 36 students transferring from community colleges will be supported for two years. The goals of the project are to (1) increase the number and diversity of students pursuing degrees in engineering technology (first-generation, underrepresented students, women, and veterans);more »(2) add to the body of knowledge regarding best practices in Engineering Technology and promote employment; and (3) contribute to the literature on self-efficacy. The project brings together engineering technology academic programs that are offered through the School of Technology and programs in the Honors College, an inclusive and unique college designed around high-impact educational practices. The project provides a unique opportunity to engage academically talented engineering technology students in activities designed to foster leadership, technical know-how, and employability skills for technology fields that actively recruit and employ graduates from diverse backgrounds and communities. By focusing on a broad range of students, the project will investigate the relationship between student characteristics and student success through (1) a mixed methods pre/post research design that examines differences in motivation, self-efficacy and professional skills and (2) a matched cohort comparison study of transfer students that examines participation/non-participation in engineering technology programs of study with honors’ college elective programming. The paper will address first year project activities including the ETS-IMPRESS recruitment, and advertisement plan to recruit first-year and community college transfer students. The paper will address the student eligibility and selection process, the recruitment of the first cohort scholars, and finally the orientation program including the summer bridge undergraduate research experience.« less
  2. The purpose of the Research in the Formation of Engineers National Science Foundation funded project, Developing Engineering Experiences and Pathways in Engineering Technology Career Formation (D.E.E.P. Engineering Technology Career Formation), is to develop a greater understanding of the professional identity, institutional culture, and formation of engineer technicians and technologists (ET) who are prepared at two-year colleges. ET professionals are important hands-on members of engineering teams who have specialized knowledge of components and engineering systems. Little research on career development and the role of ET in the workforce has previously been conducted prompting national organizations such as NSF and the Nationalmore »Academy of Sciences to prompt more research in this area [1]. The primary objectives of this project are to: (a) identify dimensions of career orientations and anchors at various stages of professional preparation and map to ET career pathways, (b) develop an empirical framework, incorporating individual career anchors and effect of institutional culture, for understanding ET professional formation, and (c) develop and pilot interventions aimed at transforming engineering formation systems in ET contexts. The three interdisciplinary theoretical frameworks integrated to guide design and analysis of this research study are social cognitive career theory (SCCT) [2], Schein’s career anchors which focuses on individual career orientation [3], and the Hughes value framework focused on the organization [4]. SCCT which links self-efficacy beliefs, outcome expectations, and personal goals to educational and career decisions and outcomes ties the individual career anchors to the institutional context of the Hughes framework [2]. To date, the project has collected and analyzed quantitative data from over 330 participants who are two-year college ET students, two-year college transfer students, and early career ET professionals. Qualitative data from historical institutional documents has also been collected and analyzed. Initial analyses have revealed gaps and needed areas of support for ET students in the area of professional formation. Thus far, the identified gaps are in institutional policy (i.e. lack of articulation agreements), needed faculty professional development (i.e. two-year faculty on specific career development and professional ET formation needs and four-year faculty on unique needs of transfer students), missing curriculum and resources supporting career development and professional formation of ET students, and integration of transfer student services focusing on connecting faculty and advisors across both institutional levels and types of programs. Significant gaps in the research promoting understanding of the role of ET and unique professional formation needs of these students were also confirmed. This project has been successful at helping to broaden participation in ET engineering education through integrating new participants into activities (new four-year institutional stakeholders, new industry partners, new faculty and staff directly and indirectly working with ET students) and through promoting disciplinary (engineering education and ET) and cross disciplinary collaborations (human resource development, higher education leadership, and student affairs). With one year remaining before completion of this project, this project has promoted a better understanding of student and faculty barriers supporting career development for ET students and identified need for career development resources and curriculum in ET. Words: 498 References [1] National Academy of Engineering. (2016). Engineering technology education in the United States. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. [2] Lent, R.W., & Brown, S.B. (1996). Social cognitive approach to career development: An overivew. Career Development Quarterly, 44, 310-321. [3] Schein, E. (1996). Career anchors revisited: Implications for career development in the 21st century. Academy of Management Executive, 10(4), 80-88. [4] Hughes, C. (2014, Spring). Conceptualizing the five values of people and technology development: Implications for human resource managmeent and development. Workforce Education Forum, 37(1), 23-44.« less
  3. Recognizing current and future needs for a diverse skilled workforce in mechanical engineering and the rising cost of higher education that acts as a barrier for many talented students with interests in engineering, the NSF funded S-STEM project at a state university focuses resources and research on financial support coupled with curricular and co-curricular activities designed to facilitate student degree attainment, career development, and employability in STEM-related jobs. This program has provided enhanced educational opportunities to more than 90 economically disadvantaged and academically talented undergraduate students in the Mechanical Engineering Department in the past eight years. It is expected thatmore »approximately 45 academically talented and financially needy students, including students transferring from community colleges to four-year engineering programs will receive scholarship support in the next 5 years, with an average amount of $6,000 per year for up to four years to earn degrees in mechanical engineering at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC). Through scholarships and supplemental support services, this program promotes full-time enrollment and will elevate the scholastic achievement of the S-STEM scholars, with a special emphasis on females and/or underrepresented minorities. It will provide a holistic and novel educational experience combining science, engineering, technology and medicine to improve student retention and future career prospects. The project builds on an established partnership between the state university and community colleges to improve and investigate the transfer experience of community college students to four-year programs, student retention at the university, and job placement and pathways to graduate school and employment. A mixed methods quantitative and qualitative research approach will examine the implementation and outcomes of proactive recruitment; selected high impact practices, such as orientation, one-to-one faculty mentoring, peer mentoring, and community building; participation by students in research-focused activities, such as research seminars and undergraduate experiences; and participation by students in career and professional development activities. In this paper, preliminary data will be presented discussing the attitudes and perceptions of the s-stem scholars and comparing students in scholarly programs and non-programmed situations. This research was supported by an NSF S-STEM grant (DUE-1742170).« less
  4. Recognizing current and future needs for a diverse skilled workforce in mechanical engineering and the rising cost of higher education that acts as a barrier for many talented students with interests in engineering, the NSF funded S-STEM project at a state university focuses resources and research on financial support coupled with curricular and co-curricular activities designed to facilitate student degree attainment, career development, and employability in STEM-related jobs. This program has provided enhanced educational opportunities to more than 90 economically disadvantaged and academically talented undergraduate students in the Mechanical Engineering Department in the past eight years. It is expected thatmore »approximately 45 academically talented and financially needy students, including students transferring from community colleges to four-year engineering programs will receive scholarship support in the next 5 years, with an average amount of $6,000 per year for up to four years to earn degrees in mechanical engineering at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC). Through scholarships and supplemental support services, this program promotes full-time enrollment and will elevate the scholastic achievement of the S-STEM scholars, with a special emphasis on females and/or underrepresented minorities. It will provide a holistic and novel educational experience combining science, engineering, technology and medicine to improve student retention and future career prospects. The project builds on an established partnership between the state university and community colleges to improve and investigate the transfer experience of community college students to four-year programs, student retention at the university, and job placement and pathways to graduate school and employment. A mixed methods quantitative and qualitative research approach will examine the implementation and outcomes of proactive recruitment; selected high impact practices, such as orientation, one-to-one faculty mentoring, peer mentoring, and community building; participation by students in research-focused activities, such as research seminars and undergraduate experiences; and participation by students in career and professional development activities. In this paper, preliminary data will be presented discussing the attitudes and perceptions of the s-stem scholars and comparing students in scholarly programs and non-programmed situations. This research was supported by an NSF S-STEM grant (DUE-1742170).« less
  5. With support from NSF Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S-STEM), the Culturally Adaptive Pathway to Success (CAPS) program aims to build an inclusive pathway to accelerate the graduation for academically talented, low-income students in Engineering and Computer Science majors at [University Name], which traditionally serves the underrepresented and educationally disadvantaged minority students in the [City Name area]. CAPS focuses on progressively developing social and career competence in our students via three integrated interventions: (1) Mentor+, a relationally informed advising strategy that encourages students to see their academic work in relation to their families and communities; (2) peer cohorts,more »providing social support structure for students and enhancing their sense of belonging in engineering and computer science classrooms and beyond; and (3) professional development from faculty who have been trained in difference-education theory, so that they can support students with varying levels of understanding of the antecedents of college success. To ensure success of these interventions, the CAPS program places great emphasis on developing culturally responsive advisement methods and training faculty mentors to facilitate creating a culture of culturally adaptive advising. This paper presents the CAPS progress in the past two project years. In particular, we will share several changes that we have made after the first project year to improve several key components of the program - recruitment, cohort building, and mentor training. The program strengthened the recruitment by actively involving scholars and faculties in reaching out to students and successfully recruited more scholars for the second cohort (16 scholars) than the first cohort (12 scholars). Also, the program has initiated new activities for peer-mentoring and cohort gathering within each major. As continuous development of the mentor training, the program has added a training session focusing on various aspects of intersectionality as it relates to individual’s social identities, and how mentors can use these knowledge to better interact with mentees. In addition to these changes, we will also report findings on how the program impacted on scholars’ academic growth and mentors’ understanding about the culturally adaptive advisement to answer the CAPS research questions (a) how these interventions affect the development of social belonging and engineering identity of CAPS scholars, and (b) the impact of Mentor+ on academic resilience and progress to degree. The program conducted qualitative data collection and analysis via focus group meetings and interviews as well as quantitative data collection and analysis using academic records and surveys. Our findings will help enhance the CAPS program and establish a sustainable Scholars Support Program at the university, which can be implemented with scholarships funded by other sources, and which can be transferred to similar culturally diverse institutions to increase success for students who have socio-economic challenges.« less