Mentoring Students at the Two-Year College

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					Mentoring Women Students in
   STEM Disciplines at the
     Two-Year College
              Arminda Wey

         Mathematics Department
       Brookdale Community College
           Lincroft, New Jersey

          League of Innovations
             March 16, 2009
• STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering,
• Request for Mentors
  – Math - Physics
  – Biology - Chemistry
  – Engineering
• Teen Talk Barbie doll was introduced by
  Mattel in 1992 and came programmed with
  certain sayings, including "Math class is
  tough" and "Want to go shopping?
    2007 Girls Math Olympiad
          held in China

   Mentoring programs that help socialize
   students to SME fields are another form of
   support for women and minorities. The
   presence and guidance of peer or faculty
   mentors have been shown to positively
   affect retention (NSF, 1996). For women in
   the sciences, mentors help provide a
   support network that increases students'
   self-confidence and feeling of worth to the
   field (Goodman Research Group, 2002).
• Female students in STEM at Brookdale

•   Sciences:           54% of 519 students
•   Engineering:        8% of 191 students
•   Computer Science:   23% of 265 students
•   Mathematics:        15% of 34 students

• Total enrollment: 14,642 students, 54.9% female
 Women in Engineering, Science and Technology

                W. E. S. T.
• Initiated in 1994 through an NSF grant

• Purpose:
  – Support and encourage women taking math,
    engineering, science and technology courses
  – Organize peer study groups
  – Provide mentoring of women students by appropriate
  – Expose students to women working in exciting STEM
  – Provide information on careers, scholarships, grants,
    4-year institutions, transfer, etc.
 In Spring 2007, we received a Brookdale
 Innovation Grant.

• To expand activities of the existing Women in
  Engineering, Science and Technology (WEST)
  club at Brookdale, and

• To establish mentoring relationships between
  female STEM faculty and members of WEST.
• Research
  – Found no similar programs
  – Sought guidance for our mentors
  – Input from the Douglass Project
    at Rutgers University
    • Setting objectives and goals
    • Maintaining a paper trail
Sally Ride is important to me because she encouraged women to love science.
She showed that women can do whatever men can do. She made a difference in
my life since I‘m a girl and women can do just as much as boys and men do.
Also, Sally Ride is a great role model for people who have big dreams. I‘m glad
women like Sally Ride encourage girls like me to be whatever we want to. She is
my hero!
Written by Sofia from USA

    June 18, 1983: First American Woman in
       Astrophysicist Sally K. Ride becomes
     America's first woman astronaut,... She is
     active in mentoring women in science and
Goals of the W.E.S.T. Math Mentoring Program

  Establish 5 student – faculty mentoring

  Engage students in college and professional
   related activities

  Retain female students in chosen discipline
Goals continued…

Support programs and initiatives in STEM

Increase interest in STEM programs via
 student leadership and influence
Goals continued…
To provide students with a structured
 approach to develop meaningful
 relationships with College faculty and
 other program students

To assist students in forming a more
 positive identification within the College
Goals continued…
To motivate and inspire students through
 moral, intellectual, academic, and social
 contact that will contribute to their success
 through graduation and professional

To promote student leadership
 development in the College Community.
Outcomes of first year:
  •11 students had mentoring relationships first
  semester, 6 of those continued second semester,
  demand continued
  •6 Faculty mentors from Brookdale Community
  College, 2 working professionals from outside the
  college as mentors
  •Membership in W.E.S.T. grew from 15 members to 43
  •Significantly stronger bonding between student
  members, Increased presence of students in faculty
  office areas and labs, Increased student involvement
  in College activities
  •ALL students in the program were retained in their
  discipline. Three transferred to four year schools.
Q: How were students chosen to

A: The program was presented to the
  students in W.E.S.T. and interested
  students requested to participate.
Q: How were faculty chosen as mentors?
A: Faculty were individually approached by
  the program director based on individual
  strengths and commitment.

W.E.S.T. originator at Brookdale,
Elaine Klett, with her mentee
Sally Boyer, and
guest speaker,
Architect Kathleen Buchanan
Q: How were partnership assignments

A: Arranged by the program director who
  was familiar with the faculty and students.
  Consideration of faculty background and
  student goals as well a personality
               Mentoring Guidelines for the WEST Math Mentoring Program 2007-08
               GOAL: To advance the academic and professional growth of the student.

Sample forms   1. Meet on a regularly appointed basis with your mentee. (Method to be mutually agreed
                  upon by mentor and mentee – in person or e-meeting, may take advantage of mentoring
                  via Angel). Keep your appointments.

 used…         2. Find out:
                          The mentee’s field of study
                          What courses are required in student’s program to earn an Associates degree from
                          Brookdale Community College (College catalog)
                         Future plans of the student – transfer, employment, etc
                         If the student is a STARS student or has any scholarships at this time, past or
                         The student’s background – high school attended, why chose this field of study,
                         How far along in the program the student is
                         How the student has been performing to date – over the past semesters (I can pull
                          up a transcript if the student wishes)
                         Which counselors work with students in the field of your mentee
                         Which counselors your mentee has worked with in the past and prefers or is
                          comfortable with
                         Any particular issues/concerns the student may have

               3. Expose the student to professional organizations in her field and encourage her to join.
                  Encourage her to read publications of those organizations. If you have any publications
                  from those organizations, you may lend her some to read or copy articles from it and give
                  to her.

               4. Expose the student to clubs and organizations on campus, encourage her to join AND to
                  hold an office.

               5. Treat the student with patience, support and respect: assist the student to conduct herself
                  in a safe and professional manner

               6. Give honest and timely feedback to student and keep communication channels open.
                  Provide direction without taking over or dictating.

               7. Keep a log of meetings with your mentee, including the topic and the outcome.
WEST Mentoring Faculty Contract
            WEST Mentor Partnership Program (1)
                 FACULTY CONTRACT
        Field of Study:
        Mentee’s Name:
        List 3 Goals/Objectives you have of the mentoring partnership:
   • I will keep appointed meetings with my mentee on a regularly
     scheduled basis.    (Frequency and style to be mutually determined
     by mentor and mentee.)
   • I will be aware of my mentee’s course selections this academic year.
   • I will listen carefully to my mentee’s needs .
   • I will conduct myself in a professional manner at all times with my
   • I will be open to suggestions regarding discussions of future study or
     employment with my mentee.
   • I will keep a log of our mentor-mentee meetings with indications of
     topics discussed and outcomes.

   If I find that I cannot fulfill the mentoring responsibilities for the
   academic year, I will find a suitable replacement and discuss this with
   W.E.S.T. advisors.

   Contact information:
              Arminda Wey 732-224-2169
              Catherine 732-224-2397
W.E.S.T. Math-Mentor Program Process Evaluation
• Objectives and guidelines
• Successful communication with student
• Successful communication with counseling
• Complementary personalities
       Relationship with mentee
       Understanding of what to do
       Progress of mentee
       Use of resources
       Making improvements
       Meeting goals
       Appreciation
  Evaluation form was used
Mentor Carey Fox, Biology Department Chair
W.E.S.T. co-advisors, Cathy Holl-Cross and Arminda Wey,
       with club student President Ayse Sasmazel
                                         W. E. S. T.
           Women in Engineering, Science and Technology
The purpose of W.E.S.T. is to support and encourage women taking math, engineering, science and technology
courses by providing mentoring of women students by appropriate faculty, exposure to successful women in
these fields, and providing opportunities to obtain information on careers, scholarships, grants, etc.
Faculty contacts: Arminda Wey (mathematics) 732-224-2169
                  Catherine Holl-Cross (mathematics) 732-224-2397

            Tentative Schedule of Activities* for the 2008 SPRING SEMESTER
January 31,     Speaker: Kathleen Buchanan, Architect – MAS 229, 11:45 – 1:00 (Thur)
March 13,       Internship and Co-op Workshop, LAH 204, 11:30 – 1:00
March 27,       Resume Writing and Interview Skills Workshop, MAN 110, 11:45 – 1:00
April 6,        Open House, Sunday 10:30 set up, Brookdale Gym
April 18,       Field trip to Rutgers University

Students meet on Thursdays in the W.E.S.T. cubicle in the Student Life Center
                      Visit our cubicle in the Student Life Center
      check out our website:
* Members look for our emails regarding additional activities.
                W.E.S.T. Activities October and November 2008
DATE                   ACTIVITY                                LOCATION                 TIME
10-02-08(Th)           Mentor-Mentee Meeting                   MAS 205                  12:00
Sun 10-05-08           Breast Cancer Run/Walk                  Great Adventure

10-14-08               Math Faculty Meet & Greet               MAS 201- Math            3 pm
                       Science Faculty Meet & Greet            Dept.                    4 pm
                                                               MAS 049
10-22 (W) & 10-        Counseling for WEST/SIGMA with          Counseling Offices       Wed 2 – 3:30
23 (Th)                Laura Miceli                                                     Thur 3 – 4:30

10-23-08(Th)           Barbara Reagor, Director of the Rapid   MAS 229                  11:45 – 1:15
                       Response Institute at Monmouth
10-24-08               TCNJ trip

11-04-08 (T)           General meeting and Speaker Andrea      MAS 229                  11:45 – 1:00
                       Freeman, Veterinarian
11-06-08(Th)           Fall Open House                         Collins Arena

11-11-08 (T)           Lynn Davis, Civil Engineer              MAS 229                  11:45 – 1:15

           For information contact: Faculty Advisors       Arminda Wey
                                                           Cathy Holl-Cross
                                     Club President        Jamie Ganley
                                               W. E. S. T.
            Women in Engineering, Science and Technology
The purpose of W.E.S.T. is to support and encourage women taking math, engineering, science and
technology courses by providing mentoring of women students by appropriate faculty, exposure to
successful women in these fields, and providing opportunities to obtain information on careers,
scholarships, grants, etc.
Membership in W.E.S.T. is open and free to women students and faculty.

                               SPRING SEMESTER 2009 Tentative Schedule

       GENERAL MEETINGS                MAS 229 11:45                     MENTORING PROGRAM

   February 5, 2009 General Meeting;                            January 29, 2009
        Featured Speaker: Susan Boyce                               Mentoring Program Meeting
   March 6, 2009                 College Visit to NJIT (Friday)
   March 26, 2009                General Meeting                May Mentoring Program Meeting
         Feature: Engineering Panel
   March 27, 2009                College Visit to Rutgers
   March 29, 2009                Open House (Sunday)
   April 16, 2009                General Meeting
Our Rutgers Trip
           Evaluation results from the
                  January 17th
          Let‘s Get Acquainted Dinner                             You are cordially invited to

1. Usefulness of the Networking Session                    the “Let’s   Get Acquainted Dinner”
    100% responded with the highest rating of 5.
                                                                    hosted by Brookdale’s
                                                        Women in Engineering, Science and Technology
2. Usefulness of the Panel Discussion                                     (WEST)
    92.3% responded the highest rating of 5.              student and faculty campus organization

                                                                 Thursday January 17, 2008
3. Interest in the Mentoring Program                                   from 5 – 8 p.m.
     84.6% responded the highest rating of 5.                   in Warner Student Life Center
                                                                       Navesink II room

4. Overall Conference Experience                                   Dress: Business Casual
    92.3% responded with highest rating of excellent.
                                                          Please RSVP “yes or no” to Arminda Wey at
                                                   or 732-224-2169
                                                                    by January 12, 2008
Panel of Mentors and Department Representatives
      speaking with female STEM students
         Students, Faculty and Learning Assistants
a subset of W.E.S.T. and members of the Mentoring Program
 Changes to the 2008-09 Mentoring Program

• Training for mentors

• 3 mandatory large group meetings

• Group mentoring
        Advancements 2008-09
– 16 students are assigned to mentors, fall2008
– 15 faculty are involved, one professional
– Student membership continues to increase,
  Demand for mentors grows
– Increased student involvement, increased
  organization activities
         October 5, 2008
Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure
• Comments from mentors on mentoring
  experience :

  – Very different than professor/student
  – Needs differ
  – Time constraints are a challenge
•   October 10, 2008
•   Math Skills Suffer in U.S., Study Finds
•   The United States is failing to develop the math skills of both girls and boys,
    especially among those who could excel at the highest levels, a new study asserts,
    and girls who do succeed in the field are almost all immigrants or the daughters of
    immigrants from countries where mathematics is more highly valued.
•   The study suggests that while many girls have exceptional talent in math — the talent
    to become top math researchers, scientists and engineers — they are rarely
    identified in the United States. A major reason, according to the study, is that
    American culture does not highly value talent in math, and so discourages girls —
    and boys, for that matter — from excelling in the field. The study will be published
    Friday in Notices of the American Mathematical Society.
•   ―We‘re living in a culture that is telling girls you can‘t do math — that‘s telling
    everybody that only Asians and nerds do math,‖ said the study‘s lead author, Janet E.
    Mertz, an oncology professor at the University of Wisconsin, whose son is a winner of
    what is viewed as the world‘s most-demanding math competitions. ―Kids in high
    school, where social interactions are really important, think, ‗If I‘m not an Asian or a
    nerd, I‘d better not be on the math team.‘ Kids are self selecting. For social reasons
    they‘re not even trying.‖
•   American Geological Institute, Government Affairs Program
                     Women in Math and Science

    The National Center for Education Statistics recently released a
    report entitled "Women in Mathematics and Science." The report
    found that women have made "tremendous progress" in education
    over the last few decades, but discrepancies in education between
    men and women still exist. Boys and girls have similar levels of
    interest and proficiency in math and science until age 13, when boys
    begin to perform better in science. As students progress through
    high school, the gap widens to include math; men score better on
    the SAT math and science achievement tests as well as AP Exams.
    The difference between the sexes has shrunk over time but still
    exists. The math and science courses taken by men and women are
    similar, except men are more likely to take physics and women are
    more likely to take chemistry. Women who do not take math or
    science their senior year of high school are more likely than men to
    have been advised that they did not need the material or stated that
    they disliked the subject.
Government Accountability Office Report, May 2006
     While postsecondary enrollment has increased over the past decade, the
     proportion of students obtaining degrees in STEM fields has fallen. ..1994–
     1995 about 32 percent obtained STEM degrees. …about 27 percent in 2003-
     04. Despite increases in enrollment and degree attainment by women and
     minorities at the graduate level, the number of graduate degrees conferred fell
     in several STEM-related fields from 1994–95 to 2003-04. College and
     university officials and students most often cited subpar teacher quality and
     poor high school preparation as factors that discouraged the pursuit of STEM
     degrees. Suggestions to encourage more enrollment in STEM fields include
     increased outreach and mentoring.

     From 1994 to 2003, employment in STEM fields increased by an estimated 23
     percent, compared to 17 percent in non-STEM fields. Mathematics and
     computer science showed the highest increase in STEM-related employment,
     and employment in science-related fields increased as well. However, in certain
     STEM fields, including engineering, the number of employees did not increase
     significantly. Further, while the estimated number of women, African-Americans,
     and Hispanic-Americans employed in STEM fields increased, women and
     minorities remained underrepresented relative to their numbers in the civilian
     labor force. Key factors affecting STEM employment decisions include
     mentoring for women and minorities…
    Thank You for joining ME
Arminda Wey
Brookdale Community College, Mathematics Department
765 Newman Springs Road
Lincroft, NJ 07738