Gender Equity Research

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					Prospecting for Gold:
Strategies for Recruiting and Retaining
Students in Emerging Technologies

                     Ann-Claire Anderson, CORD
       Dr. Margaret Semmer, Joliet Junior College
            SAME TEC Pre-Conference Workshop
                                       July 2008

   Dr. Margaret Semmer
   Ann-Claire Anderson
   The Gender Equity Collaborative
Recruitment into
Postsecondary STEM
Programs: A National Issue
Associate’s Degrees Over 20 Years
     From 1985 to 2005
         Engineering degrees declined 53%
         Engineering technologies degrees declined
         Degrees in natural sciences, mathematics,
          and social/behavioral sciences grew 52%
         Degrees in computer sciences grew 48%

                           “Earned associate’s degrees, by sex and field: Selected
                            years, 1985–2005.” Science and Engineering Indicators
                             2008. (Appendix, Table 2-25), National Science Board,
Recruitment Challenges
   Increasing program awareness
   Providing career guidance at the
    secondary level
   Promoting a reputation for excellence
   Helping underprepared students
   Clearing hurdles at registration, advising,
    and financial aid
   Implementing flexible scheduling for
    working students
Recruitment Starts Early

   Postsecondary-Secondary partnerships
       College and secondary faculty
       Counselors
       Parents
       CTE coordinators and instructors
       Students!
Early Recruitment Strategy:
Dual Enrollment
  High school students earn college
  Many models: single course, full
   articulated pathway, provision of
   student services
  Feeds into Career Pathways
Dual Enrollment Benefits Students
   Encourages career exploration
   Outlines the coursework needed within a
    particular career pathway
   Provides a taste of the college
    experience, and
   Jumpstarts their progress along the
    degree plan
Dual Enrollment Benefits Your College

     Students become familiar with the
      college and its culture
     Their transcripts are issued from the
      college, so these students may be
      convinced to enter a program there
     By passing these courses, students
      demonstrate they are ready for advanced
Dual Enrollment Considerations
   Target student populations
   Admission requirements
   On your campus or at the high school?
   Student mix
   Instructor credentials
   Course content
Early Recruitment Strategy:
Out-of-School Experiences
   Serve students of various backgrounds
   Less formal than school
   Academic enrichment, challenges and
   Awareness of local and global community
   Introduction to college students and
Early Recruitment Strategy:
Out-of-School Experiences
   Self-esteem and self-efficacy
   Career opportunities
   Both fun and meaningful
   Supportive environment and relationships
   Summer camps, weekend courses, after-
    school programs, competitions
Activity: Brainstorming a Blueprint for
Your Recruitment Program, pp. 5-7
Another National Obstacle:
Retention in Postsecondary STEM
Retention to from First Year to Second
Year in all AA/AAS and BA/BS Programs
  Two-year public                                     53.7%
  Two-year private                                    55.5%
  BA/BS granting, public                              68.0%
  BA/BS granting, private                             69.6%

              2008 ACT National Collegiate Retention and Persistence to Degree Rates
                    Summary Table: National First- to-Second-Year Retention Rates by
                                                                   Institutional Type
Migration Out of Science & Engineering
    First-year students show high interest in
     STEM—25-30% declare it as a major
    Net movement out of STEM or out of
    Less than half of students intending to
     pursue a STEM degree do so (over 5
    Underrepresented populations drop out
     of STEM at a higher rate
                                The Science and Engineering Workforce:
                                           Realizing America’s Potential
                                          National Science Board, 2003
Retention Strategy:
Learning Communities
 Restructures or links curricula
 Integrates material to remedy
  concepts being taught in isolation
 Facilitates greater student-student
  and student-faculty interaction
 Leads to deeper understanding
Learning Communities: Potential
   Ease transition from high school to college
   Improve student academic performance
   Increase faculty collaboration
   Infuse basic skills across the curriculum
   Promote cognitive growth through
    scaffolding, making connections
   Encourage persistence in CTE programs
What Kind of Students Benefit
from Participation?
   Academically underprepared students
   Student athletes
   Undecided majors
   Students in specific majors
   Ethnic minority, international, ESL
   Honors students
More Students Who Would Benefit

   Evening/weekend students
   Returning adult students
   Early-entry college students
   Part-time students
   Students preparing to transfer to a 4-
    year institution
What Does a Learning Community
Look Like?
 Freshman Interest Group
 Linked or Paired Courses
 Team-taught Courses
 Coordinated Studies Model
Freshman Interest Group
   A cohort of new college students taking
    two or more courses together
   Developed around an interdisciplinary
    theme, a need, or a major
   A peer or faculty advisor
   Weekly study groups and social
Linked or Paired Courses

 Two or more courses for which
  students co-register
 Often 1 content course + 1 skills
 Faculty co-create syllabi
 Faculty do not usually team-teach
Team-Taught Learning Communities

 Combine 2-3 courses
 Enroll 20-25 students per instructor
 Usually block scheduled
 May be thematic
 Interdisciplinary
 Requires faculty collaboration
Coordinated Studies Model

   Designed around a theme or skills that
    require mastery
   Emphasizes interdisciplinary learning
   Coordinated and taught by 3-4 faculty
   Team-taught
   A full-time learning community
Instructor Characteristics

 Open-minded
 Willing to collaborate
 Creative
 Patient
 Flexible
Support Needed

 Department Chair
 Academic and Technical Deans
 Student Services staff
 Registrar’s office
 Participating faculty
Activity: Designing a Learning
Community, pp. 17-18
Discussion Topics, pp. 19-20
Retention Strategy: Mentoring

    A mentor:
      Advocates
      Provides resources
      Serves as role model
      Advises
Retention Strategy: Mentoring

    A mentor:
      Coaches
      Protects
      Supports
Mentoring: Potential Benefits

   Improved academic performance by at-
    risk students
   Improved performance in prerequisite
    (“weeder”) courses
   Increased ethnic and gender diversity in
    STEM programs
Mentoring: Potential Benefits

   Better adaptation to college culture,
    policies and practices
   Skills development and career
   Recruitment of students into technical
Mentoring: Potential Benefits

   Persistence to graduation
   Provision of more program graduates for
    local industry
Types of Mentoring

 One-on-one
 Group Mentoring
 Team Mentoring
 Peer Mentoring
 E-mentoring
Activity: Designing Your Mentoring
Program, p. 23, pp. 25-30
Recruiting Mentors

 Professional qualifications
 Academic background
 Personal characteristics
 Mentoring job description
 Local talent pools
Matching Mentors with Students

 Link between mentor’s expertise
  and student’s interests
 Gender
 Race
 Shared background or experience
Matching Mentors with Students

 Personality/temperament
 Parental approval
 Schedule availability
 Other
Nuts and Bolts: Running a
Mentoring Program
 Student confidentiality, FERPA
 Funding
 Program administration
 Record-keeping
Nuts and Bolts: Running a
Mentoring Program
 Non-monetary resources
 Community awareness
 Program evaluation
Questions or Comments?
                Contact Us

Ann-Claire Anderson    Dr. Margaret Semmer