Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Ilumoka, Milanovic, and Grant Publish in the Journal of STEM Education

Abby Ilumoka, program director for Engineering Education, Division of Undergraduate Education, Directorate For Education & Human Resources, National Science Foundation, Ivana Milanovic, professor of mechanical engineering in the College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture (CETA), and Natalie Grant, deputy validation manager, Pratt & Whitney, have published an article in the Journal of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education: Innovations and Research, Vol. 18, No. 3. JSTEM is a half-yearly, peer-reviewed publication for educators in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education. The journal emphasizes real-world case studies that focus on issues that are relevant and important to STEM practitioners.

The paper, 'An Effective Industry-Based Mentoring Approach for the Recruitment of Women and Minorities in Engineering,' is an investigative study on the powerful impact of mentoring partnerships between pre-college students and young engineering professionals in Hartford, CT. It was found that these partnerships provide a strong foundation for a diverse pre-college student engineering pipeline that includes women and under-represented minorities. The approach used is based on the principle of cross-age peer mentoring and combines industry-based mentoring with diversity-aware mentor recruitment strategies to 1) cultivate and train a corps of diverse mentors; 2) develop a suite of informal mentoring activities; and 3) apply and generate knowledge about impact of effective mentoring strategies in overcoming barriers to women and underrepresented minorities in engineering.

The mentoring program was established at three public schools serving different population segments: suburban, multicultural suburban and urban tuition-free charter school. Diverse engineering professionals were recruited from local tech companies and trained to hone their mentoring skills. Additionally, mentoring assistants, female and minority undergraduate engineering students were recruited to help during mentoring sessions. The mentoring activities, evidence of program success, and future plans are presented and discussed. Results show that students who participate in industry-based mentoring are 55% more likely to demonstrate more interest and confidence in STEM subjects as well as 25% more likely to show greater interest in pursuing STEM careers.

Bachelor Degrees in Engineering (Source: NSF, Science & Engineering Indicators 2014, Ch 2, Undergrad Education, Enrollment & Degrees in the US)

 Gender Disparities in Engineering Jobs (Source: NSF, Science & Engineering Indicators 2014, Ch 3, Women and Minorities in the S&E Workforce).
Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Engineering (Source: NSF, Science & Engineering Indicators 2014, Ch 3, Women and Minorities in the S&E Workforce).
Unotes - 10-4-17

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