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This chapter examines the design and impact on student learning in two STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) capstone undergraduate research courses at…
This chapter examines the design and impact on student learning in two STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) capstone undergraduate research courses at Saint Augustine’s University. It discusses how these courses help student metacognitive capabilities as they synthesize their learning across the program, demonstrate holistic development, and successfully negotiate the transition to their next academic and career pathway. It couples data from these capstone research courses with a review of the literature to elucidate the conditions and impact that undergraduate research STEM capstone courses have benefited students, faculty and the University. These best practices for the capstone courses may be used as a model for other HBCUs capstone courses or undergraduate research experiences. Throughout this chapter, the following questions are addressed: How do the capstone courses prepare students for graduate school and/or the STEM workforce? How are the capstone courses enhancing student undergraduate experiences? How do the capstone courses offer authentic research experiences for each student in spite of limited resources and faculty? How do students and faculty feel they have benefited from the capstone course experience? How have students overall learning been enhanced because of the capstone courses?
The need to maintain global competitiveness makes it clear that the United States must increase the participation in STEM fields by African Americans males. Historically…
The need to maintain global competitiveness makes it clear that the United States must increase the participation in STEM fields by African Americans males. Historically, national security and economic status in a global economy has relied primarily on technological superiority; however, U.S. dominance in this regard is eroding. Data from the National Science Board (NSB) show that in the United States, from 1950 to 2000, the number of people in the science and technology workforce has dramatically increased approximately 200,000 to 5.5 million or more (Galama & Hosek, 2008). During that period, the average annual growth rate for S&E occupations was consistently higher than that for all U.S. workers. Further, employment needs for all S&E fields grew faster than U.S. degree production over the same period. As reported by the NSB, while the number of workers in S&E occupations in the United States grew at an average rate of 4.2% from 1980 to 2000, the S&E degree production in the United States grew only at a rate of 1.5%. To offset the shortage of supply versus demand, the S&E marketplace responded to that difference between degree production and occupation growth by employing individuals in S&E jobs who did not have S&E degrees. Additionally, some of that void was filled by employing foreign S&E workers.