New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
Minorities in Engineering
Preparing students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) is a common problem in secondary schools across the nation. According to the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, 96% of underrepresented minorities that graduate from high school are unprepared and not ready to study engineering by not taking pre-calculus, chemistry, and physics prior to arriving at the university. In Alaska, Alaska Natives have the worst performance as compared to all other ethnicities in mathematics and science and these courses are crucial to prepare and retain students in college for STEM degree programs. These statistics are alarming; however, there is one longitudinal program, called Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program (ANSEP) that defies these rates and is a model of excellence.
This paper presents the new results from a multi-year qualitative case study of ANSEP and is an expansion of the ASEE paper titled “A Qualitative Study of Motivation in ANSEP Precollege Students” that was included in 2015 National Conference Proceedings. ANSEP works with Alaska Native students from middle school to the doctorate level in hands-on STEM activities and requires students to complete college level mathematics and science courses, while in high school, which are needed to prepare them for STEM degrees. This research study focused on answering “How do Alaska Native students participating in ANSEP describe the program’s role at motivating them to take advanced mathematics and science courses in high school?” Also, understanding why this model program helped Alaska Native precollege students stay engaged and excel through the pipeline from middle school to the university. These results indicate that a university program can take an active role to better prepare students prior to entering college and by retaining students in a STEM degree at rates exceeding national averages.
Yatchmeneff, M., & Schroeder, H. P., & Calhoun, M. E. (2016, June), How to Develop Alaska Native STEM Students in Middle School and High School Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.27308
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