Presentation Title

What Are the Skills, Concepts and Dispositions that Promote STEM Entry into the Biological and Chemical Technology Workforce?

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Barbara L. Gonzalez

Start Date

17-11-2018 8:30 AM

End Date

17-11-2018 10:30 AM

Location

HARBESON 5

Session

POSTER 1

Type of Presentation

Poster

Subject Area

education

Abstract

Persistence in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) is more than earning a degree or admission to a graduate program. Many STEM majors desire to enter the workforce after obtaining their bachelor’s degree. This study investigates the potential impact of an NSF-funded scholarship program Scholarships to Enhance Excellence in the Chemical and Biological Research-Based Workforce (STEER) on the development of undergraduate STEER Scholars for the STEM workforce. This qualitative study focused on the following research question: What are STEER Scholars’ perceptions of the skills, concepts, and dispositions required to enter the STEM workforce? The subjects of the study were fourteen undergraduates majoring in biochemistry, chemistry or biology in an ethnically and economically diverse, primarily undergraduate university, who were selected to receive STEER scholarships in fall 2017. All of the subjects participated in an individual interview conducted by undergraduate researcher within the first three weeks of their entry into the STEER program. Video recordings were made of the interviews. The videos were subsequently transcribed, and coded for emergent themes by three independent student researchers for inter-rater reliability purposes. Students’ responses reflected pragmatic and intrinsic perceptions of STEM careers. The emergent themes related to skills and concepts were job opportunities, academic research experiences, job application process, careers in STEM, and research in the STEM field. The emergent themes related to dispositions were social network, personal and STEM self-efficacy. There is a gap in the literature on STEM workforce development, particularly, the biological and chemical sciences technology workforce, regarding factors that predict success in an industrial STEM career. This study is a preliminary means of contributing to that effort.

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Nov 17th, 8:30 AM Nov 17th, 10:30 AM

What Are the Skills, Concepts and Dispositions that Promote STEM Entry into the Biological and Chemical Technology Workforce?

HARBESON 5

Persistence in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) is more than earning a degree or admission to a graduate program. Many STEM majors desire to enter the workforce after obtaining their bachelor’s degree. This study investigates the potential impact of an NSF-funded scholarship program Scholarships to Enhance Excellence in the Chemical and Biological Research-Based Workforce (STEER) on the development of undergraduate STEER Scholars for the STEM workforce. This qualitative study focused on the following research question: What are STEER Scholars’ perceptions of the skills, concepts, and dispositions required to enter the STEM workforce? The subjects of the study were fourteen undergraduates majoring in biochemistry, chemistry or biology in an ethnically and economically diverse, primarily undergraduate university, who were selected to receive STEER scholarships in fall 2017. All of the subjects participated in an individual interview conducted by undergraduate researcher within the first three weeks of their entry into the STEER program. Video recordings were made of the interviews. The videos were subsequently transcribed, and coded for emergent themes by three independent student researchers for inter-rater reliability purposes. Students’ responses reflected pragmatic and intrinsic perceptions of STEM careers. The emergent themes related to skills and concepts were job opportunities, academic research experiences, job application process, careers in STEM, and research in the STEM field. The emergent themes related to dispositions were social network, personal and STEM self-efficacy. There is a gap in the literature on STEM workforce development, particularly, the biological and chemical sciences technology workforce, regarding factors that predict success in an industrial STEM career. This study is a preliminary means of contributing to that effort.