Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education initiatives in higher education increasingly call for career mentorship opportunities for underrepresented minorities (URM). Researchers (Johnson & Sheppard, 2004; Nelson & Brammer, 2010) note the importance of having faculty to mentor and act as role models for students, often assuming that mentors play a stronger role if they are also from the same cultural background. Native American (NA) faculty members are underrepresented in most fields in colleges and universities, and exceedingly so in engineering. Only 0.2% (N=68) of engineering faculty nationwide identify as Native American (Yoder, 2014). Likewise, NA students are underrepresented in undergraduate (0.6%; N=1853) and graduate (0.1%; N=173) engineering programs. The low percentage in graduate school is of even greater concern as they represent the primary potential pool of new faculty members. Advising and mentorship from those who identify as NA are often considered important components recruiting and retention in STEM fields. For example, Smith and colleagues (2014) found that factors such as communal goal orientation influenced NA engineering students’ motivation and academic performance. However, very few studies account for differences in NA identity or provide a nuanced account of successful NA STEM professional experiences (Page-Reeves et al., 2018). This researchmore »
Imagining the future interdisciplinary scholar: Exploring interdisciplinary identity development using possible selves.
CONTEXT This exploratory study focuses on an interdisciplinary graduate program in the United Statesthat brings students from science, engineering, technology, or mathematics (STEM)programs together with students in business, policy and governance, natural resources, and other fields to address disaster resilience and risk management. Given the complexity of interdisciplinary collaboration and the need to work across disciplinary boundaries it is increasingly important to develop interdisciplinary capacity in STEM graduate students. PURPOSE OR GOAL The purpose of this exploratory study was to explore how participants conceptualize a possible identity as an interdisciplinary scholar over time in order to characterize the structural and individual factors that might prevent one from developing an interdisciplinary identity.
- Award ID(s):
- Publication Date:
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Journal Name:
- Research in Engineering Education Symposium (REES) & Australasian Association for Engineering Education Conference
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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