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Leveraging the U.S. Army JROTC Program to Increase the STEM Workforce Pipeline

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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 Topics

Diversity and NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count

14

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/37458

Download Count

83

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Paper Authors

biography

Melissa Dean STEMWorks, LLC

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Melissa received a bachelor’s in Psychology from Louisiana State University in Shreveport and is completing her doctorate in instructional design at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL. For the last 15 year, Ms. Dean has been working in the informal and formal STEM education fields, serving as Education Director at the Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center and the K-8 Education Director at the Mobile Area Education Foundation. At STEMWorks, Ms. Dean serves as the Research Associate and Instructional Designer for the NSF JROTC Academy Award. As Research Associate Ms. Dean is primarily responsible for carrying out research activities including developing and deploying data collection instruments, cleaning data, conducting direct observations of the intervention, analyzing the data, and assisting the Lead Researcher with preparing annual reports and other tasks as required to ensure the successful implementation, analyses and dissemination of results of the research project. Additionally, as Instructional Designer Ms. Dean assists with the adaptation or development of STEM Curriculum to meet the Academy STEM curriculum outcomes, support feasibility testing of STEM Curriculum activities, and review and provide feedback on STEMWorks developed lessons.

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biography

James Van Haneghan STEMWorks, LLC

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James Van Haneghan is a consultant for STEMWORKS, LLC and Professor in the College of Education and Professional Studies at the University of South Alabama where he teaches courses in research methods, assessment, and learning. He has research interests in the areas of program evaluation, problem- and project-based learning, mathematics education, motivation, and assessment. He has been at the University of South Alabama since 1995. Before that he held positions at Northern Illinois University and George Peabody College of Vanderbilt University. His doctoral training was from the Applied Developmental Psychology Program at the University of Maryland. He also holds an MA in Experimental Psychology from S.U.N.Y at Geneseo, and a B.S. from S.U.N.Y.at Brockport where he majored in psychology and business administration.

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biography

Susan Pruet STEMWorks, LLC

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Dr. Susan Pruet has been actively involved in STEM education for over 30 years – as a teacher, teacher educator and director of reform initiatives. Since 1998 she has directed two STEM reform initiatives for the Mobile Area Education Foundation (MAEF): the Maysville/Mobile Mathematics Initiative and, most recently, Engaging Youth through Engineering (EYE), a K-12 workforce development and STEM initiative in Mobile, Alabama. Both initiatives, funded largely through NSF grants, involve valuable partnerships with the Mobile County Public School System, the University of South Alabama, and area business and industry. Change the Equation, a non-partisan, CEO-led commission focused on mobilizing business communities to improve the quality of STEM learning in America, recognized the EYE Modules as one of Change the Equation’s STEM Works Programs. Dr. Pruet has served on a number of education boards and committees including vice chair of the Board of Directors of the Alabama Mathematics, Science, Technology, and Engineering Coalition (AMSTEC) and the Executive Board of the American Society of Engineering Educators (ASEE) K-12 & PreCollege Division. Dr. Pruet received her undergraduate degree in mathematics from Birmingham-Southern College, her master’s degree in secondary education from the University of Alabama in Birmingham, and her doctorate from Auburn University in mathematics education. Currently, as president of STEMWorks, LLC, Dr. Pruet consults with various education organizations around designing, funding, implementing and sustaining integrated STEM programs, especially those serving populations under-represented in STEM careers.

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biography

James Duke STEMWorks, LLC.

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James Duke graduated from the University of South Alabama in Mobile with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Geography with a concentration in Meteorology and a Minor in Mathematics. After working with a private weather firm in Houston, TX, Mr. Duke returned to Mobile and began teaching high school mathematics. While teaching high school, he enrolled in the Alternative Masters Program at USA and earned a master's degree in Mathematics Education and his teaching certificate in the state of Alabama. He is currently in his twentieth year at Davidson High School in Mobile teaching AP Statistics, AP Calculus, and AP Physics and recently became a National Board Certified Teacher. For the past seven summers, Mr. Duke has work the the JROTC program for Mobile County Public Schools and STEMWorks, LLC. to develop curriculum for the JROCT STEM Leadership Academy. He also serves as an assistant coordinator for the summer academy.

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Abstract

The JROTC program was established in 1916 and is a jointly funded program between the federal government and local school districts. The program’s goals include reducing the high school drop-out rate, improving school attendance and academic achievement, and preparing young people for careers in the military. With more than 500,000 participating students, JROTC is the largest youth training and development program in the United States. The character development education offered by the JROTC program is especially effective with at-risk youth and the program has higher-than average representation for minority students, approximately half are female, and is strongly represented in schools serving economically disadvantaged populations. Thus, the JROTC student population is a potentially untapped population who could be engaged in STEM academics and careers. However, this population has been somewhat overlooked by evaluation and research. This poster shines a light on this under-studied population.

In 2015, one school district launched a blended STEM-JROTC summer program which is serving 160 high school students annually. The annual evaluations have focused on the short-term impacts on student interest and motivation to enter STEM fields. These evaluation reports served as the impetus for a three-year evaluation to focus on the long-term effects of the intervention.

In 2018, with funding from the Discovery Research Learning division of NSF, a three-year mixed-methods longitudinal study was launched to evaluate a unique summer academy that incorporates US Army JROTC leadership training, STEM curriculum centered around engineering design challenges, and workforce experiences to impact the regional STEM workforce pipeline. The evaluation is grounded in Lent’s (1994) Social Cognitive Career Theory (SCCT) and focuses on answering the question: What is the long-term impact of adding STEM education, centered around engineering design challenges, in an existing JROTC leadership summer experience? The project involves following 172 (30 control, 142 treatment) JROTC students through high school after they completed their summer experience. The control group students attended a traditional JROTC summer camp while the treatment group experienced the JROTC summer innovation, the JROTC STEM Leadership Academy. Following the SCCT model, we will report impacts on self-efficacy and outcome expectations, interests, choice goals, and choice actions of graduating seniors one and two years after they participated in the intervention.

Dean, M., & Van Haneghan, J., & Pruet, S., & Duke, J. (2021, July), Leveraging the U.S. Army JROTC Program to Increase the STEM Workforce Pipeline Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37458

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