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Building Social Capital for First Generation Students through Intentional Multilayered Mentoring

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Conference

2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count

8

DOI

10.18260/1-2--36771

Permanent URL

https://strategy.asee.org/36771

Download Count

32

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Paper Authors

biography

Tiffiny Antionette Butler Worcester Polytechnic Institute

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Dr. Butler joined the faculty at WPI after completing a postdoctoral fellowship in biomedical engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 2016. Dr. Butler received her masters and doctoral degrees in Kinesiology (Athletic Training, Integrative Exercise Physiology) with her research interests focused on skeletal and bone biomechanics. She combines her love for education, exercise science, and her passion for diversity, and inclusion in her current position as a Teaching Professor in BME and the Director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs at WPI. Dr. Butler fosters a student community of belonging at WPI that respects and celebrates diversity in all its dimensions, including but not limited the many intersectional identities of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, socioeconomic status, and physical ability.

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biography

Katherine C. Chen Worcester Polytechnic Institute

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Dr. Katherine C. Chen is the Executive Director of the STEM Education Center at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). Her degrees in Materials Science and Engineering are from Michigan State University and MIT. Her research interests include pre-college engineering education, teacher education, and equity in education.

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biography

Kimberly LeChasseur Worcester Polytechnic Institute

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Dr. Kimberly LeChasseur is a researcher and evaluator with the Worcester Polytechnic Institute. She holds a dual appointment with the Center for Project-Based Learning and the Morgan Teaching and Learning Center. She holds a PhD in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Temple University and has more than ten years of experience researching professional learning of educators and evaluating efforts to improve students' opportunities to learn.

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Abstract

As first year students transition into college, the building of social capital through the development of their campus support network is a critical piece in forming their collegiate success strategy, especially for first generation students. First generation status is operationally defined typically as both parents having not completed a four year college degree in the United States. For first generation students, the development of a campus support network is even more important and can be more difficult to establish without guidance from the home support network, often times unaware of the unwritten expectations and model behaviors of what a successful college career looks like and how to achieve it. The Connecting Mentor Partners for Academic Success in STEM (CoMPASS) program, is a NSF S-STEM scholarship program developed to purposefully create a pathway to guide first generation students from the Worcester Public School District to develop their social capital through intentional multilayered mentoring throughout their first year experience and beyond. The multilayered mentoring approach introduced distinctive campus mentors embedded within scheduled programs to align with the student’s first year experience. The CoMPASS program began with virtual sessions in the spring 2020 with their first interaction with the campus support network occurring as soon as they are accepted into the institution, but before they matriculated in the upcoming fall. Spring and summer sessions are used for a twofold purpose: 1) building community amongst the cohort, and 2) introducing students to key campus resources very early. These sessions were intentionally spaced roughly one month apart for students to have an opportunity to gradually be introduced to more resources over time as to not overwhelm them and also to provide a space for their home support network to connect into their onboarding process. This process is an important piece of establishing a line of trust with their student’s new network of support. Students within the program also had many opportunities prior to their matriculation to engage with the campus community through optional summer courses, participation in the “Connections” program (designed to help students build connections and acclimate to campus a week prior to the arrival of other first year students on to campus) and new student orientation. This Fall, in response to the COVID pandemic, the Connections program was lengthened to encompass the first semester with weekly check ins by upper-class student peer mentors to help students not only navigate their first year to college but their first year of college during a global pandemic. As they began classes in the fall, all first year students participated in the “Insight” program which assigns a team of support through a faculty or staff advisor for academic coaching and a community advisor and resident advisor for emotional, social, and residential support through community building programming and resource education. Preliminary data will be presented about the efficacy of program support structures in establishing student success through progressive intentional multilayered mentoring during this first year transition into college for first generation students.

Butler, T. A., & Chen, K. C., & LeChasseur, K. (2021, July), Building Social Capital for First Generation Students through Intentional Multilayered Mentoring Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36771

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