The project will apply theoretical frameworks within social science to examine STEM undergraduate research experiences at HBCUs. This mixed methodology investigation will observe, measure, and describe how students, faculty, and staff at HBCUs engage in culturally responsive mentoring practices within a STEM undergraduate research experience. The investigators will enter the research spaces (research laboratories, campus research programs, etc.) to collect observations of mentoring practices and document what culturally responsive mentoring looks like in various HBCU STEM research settings. The investigators will then explore and measure the influence of mentorship in the participation and retention of STEM students at HBCUs. The project will generate approaches and guidelines to facilitate the replication of a culturally relevant mentoring model for STEM undergraduate research experiences at HBCUs and other contexts.
Culturally relevant pedagogy will be used as a theoretical framework to investigate (1) What does mentorship look like in STEM undergraduate research experiences at HBCUs? and (2) What role does mentoring play in the participation and retention of HBCU STEM students in undergraduate research experiences? Investigators will collect quantitative and qualitative data to conduct a mixed methodology investigation. Survey data will be collected to quantitatively assess mentoring competencies as well as feelings, beliefs, interests, and attitudes toward mentoring in STEM research experiences. They will then collect qualitative data to reflect multiple points of view and understand trends, outliers, and contradictions in other data sources. These data will be combined with observational data to more accurately represent the mentoring experience within HBCU STEM research laboratories. Investigators will apply multiple case approaches to develop an in-depth description of HBCU STEM research experiences and compare and contrast different STEM research environments. The research is expected to produce reproducible findings.
This broadening participation in STEM education research project is supported by the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program.
This award reflects NSF’s statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation’s intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.