July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
Pre-College Engineering Education
Overview of a Multi-disciplinary Online Engagement Model for Female Hispanic Students in Pre-College STEM-oriented Programs (Work-in-Progress) Educational instruction across the world has moved into an online format as a result of the health threats caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Although online learning is not a new approach at the college level, remote learning environments have now become essential at all education levels. As such, instructors, teachers, and professors have encountered challenges in implementing diverse strategies for keeping students engaged and focused in these learning environments. The development and implementation of new and innovative online engagement models are paramount to fostering remote learning environments that promote accountability, motivation, engagement, and comprehension among students with heterogeneous learning styles. The purpose of this paper is twofold: 1) to document the workshops and activities implemented to increase the attractiveness of STEM programs for female Hispanic high school seniors, and 2) to report on the lessons learned from applying multi-disciplinary online engagement models at a pre-college education program. Through the Yes, She Can (YSC) program at a university, a multi-disciplinary research group investigated the effectiveness of an online engagement program during the summer of 2020. In collaboration with Upward Bound (UB), a program dedicated to increasing the rates of post-secondary education attendance of first-generation low-income students, university researchers deployed the online engagement models with Hispanic female high school students. The online engagement models exposed students to educational activities through professional workshops. The workshops addressed topics such as financial literacy, standardized testing, resume writing, and time management, issues that contribute to a successful entry into post-secondary education. In addition to the workshops, students were offered weekly individual mentoring sessions to allow for a more in-depth grasp of the material and to allow for questions in a face-to-face virtual setting. Surveys meant to collect information about the effectiveness of the program were formulated and distributed to the participants during each workshop and at the end of the six-week program. Qualitative data generated from open-ended responses was analyzed to generate preliminary conclusions for the online engagement program. The feedback was also used to adjust survey instruments and improve data collection during the professional workshops that will be offered next summer. In summary, STEM-oriented online engagement models were investigated through a collaborative research effort between the university YSC and UB programs. The research group offered the following preliminary conclusions and recommendations: 1) allow college students, mainly freshmen level, to lead the professional workshops to create a stronger bond between workshop facilitators and attendees, 2) formulate surveys that are simple and easy to access, and 3) continue offering individual mentoring sessions, as these were found to be very helpful to mentors and mentees. From the data collected and feedback provided, a framework for designing online engagement models will be formulated considering accountability, motivation, and engagement tools that support the learning needs of Hispanic female high school students.
Wersant, K. A., & Golding, D. E., & Torres-Catanach, I. Y., & Ayala, K. A., & Cuvelier, N., & Santiago, I., & Garcia, V. M. (2021, July), Overview of a Multi-Disciplinary Online Engagement Model for Female Hispanic Students in Pre-College STEM-Oriented Programs (Work in Progress) Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37555
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