June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
Minorities in Engineering
26.94.1 - 26.94.18
A Qualitative Study of Motivation in [Program] Precollege StudentsThe dramatic underrepresentation of Alaska Natives in science, technology, engineering andmathematics (STEM) degrees and professions calls for rigorous research in how students accessthese fields. Research has shown that students who complete advanced mathematics and sciencecourses while in high school are more academically prepared to pursue and succeed in STEMdegree programs and professions. There is limited research on what motivates precollegestudents to become more academically prepared before they graduate from high school. InAlaska, Alaska Native precollege students regularly underperform on required State of Alaskamathematics and science exams when compared to non-Alaska Native students. Research alsosuggests that different things may motivate Alaska Native students than racial majority students.Therefore, there is a need to better understand what motivates Alaska Native students to take andsuccessfully complete advanced mathematics and science courses while in high school so thatthey are academically prepared to pursue and succeed in STEM degrees and professions.The [Program] is a longitudinal STEM educational enrichment program that works with Alaskanstudents starting in middle school through doctoral degrees and further professional endeavors.Research suggests that Alaska Native students participating in [Program] are completing STEMdegrees at higher rates than before the program was available. [Program] appears to be uniquedue to its longitudinal approach and the large numbers of Alaskan precollege, university, andgraduate students it supports. [Program] provides precollege students with opportunities to takeadvanced high school and college-level mathematics and science courses and complete STEMrelated projects. Students work and live together on campus during the program components.Student outcome data suggests that [Program] has been successful at motivating precollegeparticipants to successfully complete advanced high school and college-level mathematics andscience courses prior to high school graduation.This study asked, “how do Alaska Native students participating in [Program] describe theprogram’s role at motivating them to take advanced mathematics and science courses in highschool?” Qualitative interviews were conducted with 22 current [Program] precollegeparticipants and 11 former precollege participants who were pursuing STEM degrees.Preliminary findings suggest that [Program] precollege academic coursework and socialengagement components positively contributed to Alaska Native participant motivation to takeand successfully complete advanced high school and college-level mathematics and sciencecourses while in high school. Preliminary findings further suggest that [Program] precollegecomponents positively contributed to participant motivation to pursue STEM degrees andprofessions. Knowledge gained from this study may further support the use of longitudinalacademic programs to increase STEM degree persistence and graduation.
Yatchmeneff, M. (2015, June), A Qualitative Study of Motivation in Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program (ANSEP) Pre-college Students Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23435
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