June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
Minorities in Engineering
22.335.1 - 22.335.10
A Tribal College-University Collaborative Model for Tribal College student Research MentoringNorth Dakota’s five tribal colleges and two research universities have been working together to establishsmooth pathways and seamless transitions for Native American students who aspire to seek highereducation degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) by (1) creating a strongalliance between the universities and the state’s tribal colleges; (2) implementing an initiative ofresearch capacity building in tribal colleges that will engage tribal college faculty and baccalaureateanticipatory STEM majors in basic scientific research; and (3) engaging tribal college students in researchusing a tribal college-university collaborative model for research mentoring. Recent educationalresearch has shown that students who engage in research projects are more likely to enroll in andcomplete STEM degree programs when compared to other students. Increased understanding of theresearch process, a shift from passive to active learning, enhanced research and laboratory skills, andincreased understanding and interest in the discipline are some of the benefits undergraduate studentsgain by engaging in research. Therefore, “engaging the students in research” is adopted here as a majorstrategy to improve their retention in STEM programs. Faculty involvement in research mentoring notonly leads to their enrichment as teachers but also enriches them as scholars. Though the responsibilityof the tribal college (TC) faculty is primarily teaching, engaging in research and developing researchproject situations for students, research provides them opportunities to enhance their teachingcapability and professional development. In this collaborative model, university and tribal college facultyco-mentor tribal college students on STEM research projects. One or two tribal college students workwith a TC mentor and a university mentor. Students do research on their respective campuses duringthe academic year. The interaction of the university professor with the TC student and mentor is mainlyover the telephone or with an occasional travel to campuses. The expectations are that the universityand tribal college faculty members will help students develop the appropriate research questions(hypotheses) and will advise on techniques/methods of investigation, design of experiments, analyzedata, draw appropriate conclusions, prepare presentations and report their findings. Imparting researchskills is the emphasis of the collaborative research mentoring model and not necessarily discoveryresearch. The collaborative model also creates a sound research platform between tribal colleges anduniversities. This paper will discuss the experience of the authors with this mentoring model from itsconception, implementation, impacts, short-comings, successes, and finally the lessons learned.
Padmanabhan, G., & Davis, C. (2011, June), Collaborative Research-Mentoring for Tribal College Students Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17616
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