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Book part
Publication date: 28 February 2019

Sayo O. Fakayode, Jennifer Jennings Davis, Linus Yu, Paulette Ann Meikle, Ron Darbeau and Georgia Hale

Strengthening the nation’s technological workforce, competing and expanding its relevance in the global economy, and maintaining personal as well as homeland security will…

Abstract

Strengthening the nation’s technological workforce, competing and expanding its relevance in the global economy, and maintaining personal as well as homeland security will be highly dependent on the quantity, quality, and diversity of the next generations of scientists, engineers, technologists, and mathematicians. Production of a diverse generation of human resources with relevant, competitive skills is critical. However, so too is the need to raise an enlightened citizenry with cross-cultural experience and cultural awareness competency, with a broad worldview and global perspectives. These requirements are critical to understanding the challenges and opportunities of scholarly activity in a pluralistic global environment and positioning ourselves to capitalize upon them. Scholars with cross-cultural experience and competency are empowered to adapt and work collaboratively, nationally and globally, with scholars of different races, geopolitical, socioeconomic, and cultural backgrounds. Development of effective strategies to transform science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) departments for inclusion and to broaden the participation in STEM across cultures, socioeconomic standing, race, and gender in higher education has been a dominant topic of pedagogical interest of national priority in the last several decades. However, success in these endeavors is achievable only through systemic change and a cultural shift to address the underlying root causes of socioeconomic disparity, gender, and racial disparities and a paucity of cultural awareness among all educational stakeholders. STEM departments can only be truly transformed for inclusion through the development of sensitive, creative, and student-engaging curricula and targeted recruitment and retention of underrepresented minorities in STEM. Formation of well-coordinated alliances spanning educational sectors, governmental and non-governmental organizations, and community engagement and outreach are also critical to promoting inclusive and broad participation in STEM education.

The first section of the chapter gives an introduction to various challenges, obstacles, and hindrances that prevent a successful transformation of K–12 science education as well as STEM departments in higher education for inclusion. The second section discusses historical perspectives of the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith (UAFS) – the institutional profile, missions, and visions of UAFS as a regional university. Policies and strategies for addressing the socioeconomic disparity, faculty gender, and racial disparities and cultural competency awareness at UAFS are also highlighted in this section. Other approaches including targeted efforts to recruit and retain underrepresented minority students, provision of financial assistance for students from low-income families, and a creative “Math-up” curriculum innovation to promote inclusive and broad participation in STEM at UAFS are highlighted in the latter section of the chapter. Formation of alliances between UAFS, local K–12 school districts, and governmental and non-governmental agencies to promote broad participation in STEM at UAFS are discussed. The last section of the chapter provides recommendations for adaptation and sustainability of strategies and efforts aimed at transforming national STEM departments for inclusion.

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Book part
Publication date: 6 October 2014

Cynthia D. Anderson, Christine Mattley, Valerie Martin Conley and David A. Koonce

Community colleges are an under-recognized but vital component of higher education. Public two-year colleges provide a foundation for baccalaureate degree attainment…

Abstract

Purpose

Community colleges are an under-recognized but vital component of higher education. Public two-year colleges provide a foundation for baccalaureate degree attainment, educate a skilled math and science workforce, and support local economic development. Our research, which examines women STEM faculty at community colleges, highlights the role of gender in reproducing advantages and disadvantages within the academy.

Methodology

Data were collected by face-to-face interviews with 27 women faculty at nine community colleges in Ohio. We utilized semi-structured interviewing techniques to examine key dimensions such as decision-making leading to employment in two-year institutions, perceived advantages and disadvantages of such work, job satisfaction, and challenges to balancing career and family.

Findings

Results indicate considerable satisfaction among women faculty members, but contradict a popular stereotype that work at community colleges is easier for women with families. Despite relative parity in terms of occupational composition, pay, and tenure, community colleges are gendered in that they lack formal programs, institutionalized support, and leadership opportunities to support women.

Research limitations

Adjunct faculty play an important role in higher education but are underrepresented in our sample. Future research is needed to examine the unique situation of part-time faculty.

Implications

Community colleges are uniquely poised to contribute to improving gender equality for women in STEM. Understanding community colleges and the academic careers of women in STEM employed by these institutions is a vital step in our nation’s efforts to develop systemic approaches to increase representation and advancement of women in STEM careers.

Details

Gender Transformation in the Academy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-070-4

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 10 January 2019

Kathi N. Miner, Samantha C. January, Kelly K. Dray and Adrienne R. Carter-Sowell

The purpose of this project was to examine the extent to which early-career women faculty in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) experience working in a…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this project was to examine the extent to which early-career women faculty in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) experience working in a chilly interpersonal climate (as indicated by experiences of ostracism and incivility) and how those experiences relate to work and non-work well-being outcomes.

Design/methodology/approach

Data came from a sample of 96 early-career STEM faculty (Study 1) and a sample of 68 early-career women STEM faculty (Study 2). Both samples completed online surveys assessing their experiences of working in a chilly interpersonal climate and well-being.

Findings

In Study 1, early-career women STEM faculty reported greater experiences of ostracism and incivility and more negative occupational well-being outcomes associated with these experiences compared to early-career men STEM faculty. In Study 2, early-career women STEM faculty reported more ostracism and incivility from their male colleagues than from their female colleagues. Experiences of ostracism (and, to a lesser extent, incivility) from male colleagues also related to negative occupational and psychological well-being outcomes.

Originality/value

This paper documents that exposure to a chilly interpersonal climate in the form of ostracism and incivility is a potential explanation for the lack and withdrawal of junior women faculty in STEM academic fields.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 38 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 3 June 2021

Anna Sanczyk, Lisa R. Merriweather, Cathy D. Howell and Niesha C. Douglas

The purpose of this research study was to explore U.S. STEM faculty’s perceptions of culturally responsive mentoring underrepresented doctoral students in STEM programs…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research study was to explore U.S. STEM faculty’s perceptions of culturally responsive mentoring underrepresented doctoral students in STEM programs. The research question that guided this study was “How do STEM doctoral faculty mentors engage in culturally responsive mentoring?

Design/methodology/approach

A case study research design was used and included findings from an embedded case drawn from a larger ongoing study. Six STEM faculty participants provided in-depth insights into the dynamic nature of the culturally responsive mentoring journey through semi-structured interviews that were analyzed using thematic analysis. The theoretical framework for this research study was grounded in the ideas posited by culturally responsive pedagogy.

Findings

The findings revealed three themes related to the mentoring journeys experienced by the faculty fellows: an academic journey, an intentional journey, and a subliminal journey.

Research limitations/implications

The findings of this research provide significant contribution to the current literature on mentoring and point to the importance of continuous, structured research efforts to increase the quality of mentoring for URM students in doctoral STEM programs.

Practical implications

STEM faculty could benefit from participating in mentor training framed by culturally responsive pedagogy. Future research is needed to explore the mentor training needs of STEM faculty in other environments, including contexts outside the United States.

Originality/value

This study extends understanding of STEM faculty's knowledge, dispositions, and abilities of culturally responsive mentoring and emphasizes the need for ongoing professional development training in this area.

Details

International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6854

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Culturally Responsive Strategies for Reforming STEM Higher Education
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-405-9

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Article
Publication date: 7 December 2020

Joann S. Olson and Sneha Nayar-Bhalerao

The purpose of this case study is to explore the perceptions of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) faculty members toward mentoring undergraduates.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this case study is to explore the perceptions of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) faculty members toward mentoring undergraduates.

Design/methodology/approach

Within the context of a student scholarship and faculty development project, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), STEM faculty members were interviewed at a small teaching-focused university in South Texas, United States. This research study utilized a qualitative case study approach based on semi-structured interviews with nine Mathematics and Computer Science faculty members. Transcripts were coded thematically, beginning with open coding and continuing with repeated rounds of comparison leading to the identification of four themes.

Findings

Four themes were identified in the data: describing settings where mentoring occurs, identifying the tasks of mentoring, developing skills for mentoring others and inhabiting the identity of a mentor. These findings suggest that increasing faculty engagement and effectiveness in mentoring STEM students may be a matter of broadening the definition of mentoring and helping faculty members develop the identity of a mentor.

Practical implications

In an effort to promote retention of students, specifically within STEM fields, many initiatives highlight the importance of faculty mentoring for undergraduate students. This research suggests that faculty members' perceptions of the role and structure of a mentoring relationship will shape this relationship and have an impact on student persistence and success.

Originality/value

While most studies of faculty–student mentoring focus on the experiences of students, this study explored faculty members' perceptions of that relationship.

Details

International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6854

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Article
Publication date: 8 January 2019

Joyce Yen, Eve A. Riskin, Cara Margherio, Jan H. Spyridakis, Coleen M. Carrigan and Ana Mari Cauce

The advancement of equity, diversity and inclusion in higher education is dependent on institutional culture changes in academia. Faculty equity, diversity and inclusion…

Abstract

Purpose

The advancement of equity, diversity and inclusion in higher education is dependent on institutional culture changes in academia. Faculty equity, diversity and inclusion efforts must engage departmental leadership. The purpose of this paper is to describe the growth and expansion of the ADVANCE leadership program at the University of Washington (UW) for department chairs that was designed to provide department chairs the skills, community and information needed to be agents of change within the academy.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper chronicles the program’s growth from a campus-based workshop program to national workshops (LEAD) to a web-based toolkit (LiY!) to support institutions in running their own UW ADVANCE-inspired leadership workshops.

Findings

The paper demonstrates the success of each growth stage and the expansion of program impact.

Practical implications

The paper offers recommendations for growing a model from a local to national scale and adapting the described leadership development model at other institutions.

Originality/value

The paper shares a successful model for equipping department chairs to be advocates of gender equity, diversity and inclusion in STEM and to be change agents in higher education.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 38 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 9 January 2019

Valerie Gray Hardcastle, Stacie Furst-Holloway, Rachel Kallen and Farrah Jacquez

A lot is known about systemic barriers to broadening participation (BP) in STEM. Empirical research has demonstrated the existence and impact of implicit bias, stereotype…

Abstract

Purpose

A lot is known about systemic barriers to broadening participation (BP) in STEM. Empirical research has demonstrated the existence and impact of implicit bias, stereotype threat, and micro-aggressions on a sense of belonging, organizational productivity and leadership opportunities. We also know that achieving greater participation of women and faculty of color in the STEM disciplines is complicated and depends on altering complex and multi-layered interactions between activities and actors. Further, because researcher and institutional goals vary as a function of target population and context, generalizable models can struggle in the face of larger BP efforts. Through the authors experience as an NSF ADVANCE-IT awardee, the authors believe that a dynamic, multi-scaled and organizational level approach is required to reflect the reciprocal dialogue among research questions, best practices, tailored applications and quantifiable goals. The authors describe several examples of research, programming activities and program evaluation that illustrate this approach. In particular, the authors describe both the programming successes and challenges, with the aim of helping others to avoid common mistakes by articulating very broad and, the authors’ hope, generalizable “lessons learned.” The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

To better understand the barriers for women in STEM, the authors utilized an iterative methodology. Specifically, the authors conducted a social network analysis, an exit survey of departed faculty, longitudinal analysis of career trajectories and research productivity, and a survey on the interaction between values and climate.

Findings

The analyses suggest three strategies better retain women in STEM: improve women’s professional networks; re-aling policy documents and departmental practices to better reflect faculty values; and improve departmental climate.

Practical implications

The pay-off for using this more complex research approach to triangulate onto specific challenges is that the interventions are more likely to be successful, with a longer-lasting impact.

Originality/value

With continuous institutional research, metric refinement, and program evaluation the authors are better able to develop targeted programming, policy reform, and changes in institutional practice. The interventions should result in permanent institutional and systemic change by integrating multi-method qualitative and quantitative research into BP practices, which the authors couple with longitudinal analysis that can quantify success of the authors’ efforts.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 38 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 10 January 2019

Helga Van Miegroet, Christy Glass, Ronda Roberts Callister and Kimberly Sullivan

Women remain underrepresented in academic STEM, especially at the highest ranks. While much attention has focused on early-career attrition, mid-career advancement is…

Abstract

Purpose

Women remain underrepresented in academic STEM, especially at the highest ranks. While much attention has focused on early-career attrition, mid-career advancement is still largely understudied and undocumented. The purpose of this paper is to analyze gender differences in advancement to full professor within academic STEM at a mid-size public doctoral university in the western USA, before and after the National Science Foundation (NSF)-ADVANCE Program (2003–2008).

Design/methodology/approach

Using faculty demographics and promotion data between 2008 and 2014, combined with faculty responses to two waves of a climate survey, the magnitude and longevity of the impact of ADVANCE on mid-career faculty advancement across gender is evaluated.

Findings

This study documents increased representation of women in all ranks within the STEM colleges, including that of full professor due to ADVANCE efforts. It also demonstrates the role of greater gender awareness and formalization of procedures in reducing the variability in the time as associate professor until promotion to full professor for all faculty members, while also shrinking gender disparities in career attainment. As a result of the codification of the post-tenure review timeline toward promotion, more recently hired faculty are promoted more swiftly and consistently, irrespective of gender. Post-ADVANCE, both male and female faculty members express a greater understanding of and confidence in the promotion process and no longer see it as either a hurdle or source of gender inequality in upward career mobility.

Research limitations/implications

While data were collected at a single university, demographics and career experiences by women mirror those at other research universities. This study shows that within a given institution-specific governance structure, long-lasting effects on faculty career trajectories can be achieved, by focusing efforts on creating greater transparency in expectations and necessary steps toward promotion, by reducing barriers to information flown, by standardizing and codifying the promotion process, and by actively engaging administrators as collaborators and change agents in the transformation process.

Originality/value

This study addresses mid-career dynamics and potential mechanisms that explain gender gaps in the promotion to full professor, a largely understudied aspect of gender disparities in career attainment within STEM. It shows how institutional policy changes, intended to alleviate gender disparities, can benefit the career trajectories of all faculty members. Specifically, this study highlights the crucial role of codifying procedures and responsibilities in neutralizing subjectivity and inconsistencies in promotion outcomes due to varying departmental climates.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 38 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 28 February 2019

Margaret I. Kanipes, Guoqing Tang, Faye E. Spencer-Maor, Zakiya S. Wilson-Kennedy and Goldie S. Byrd

This chapter highlights the creation of a STEM Center of Excellence for Active Learning (SCEAL) at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. The…

Abstract

This chapter highlights the creation of a STEM Center of Excellence for Active Learning (SCEAL) at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. The overarching goal of the STEM Center is to transform pedagogy and institutional teaching and learning in order to significantly increase the production of high-achieving students who will pursue careers and increase diversity in the STEM workforce. Some of the STEM Center’s efforts to reach its goals included supporting active learning classroom and course redesign efforts along with providing professional development workshops and opportunities to garner funding to cultivate student success projects through the development of an Innovation Ventures Fund. Outcomes from this Center have led to several publications and external grant funding awards to continue implementation, assessment, and refinement of active learning innovations and interventions for STEM student success for years to come.

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