Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
Pre-College Engineering Education
Research has shown that successful post-secondary study in engineering often depends upon pre-college coursetaking in advanced mathematics and physics. Many high school students rely upon the guidance of their school counselors to select appropriate coursework to prepare them for their intended careers. School counselors are uniquely positioned to provide a realistic alignment of aspirations and prerequisite courses needed to succeed in a particular field. However, school counseling for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) career pathways has often been limited, particularly for students in high needs schools. This study reports the results of a university-based professional development intervention for school counselors, where participants engaged in training in academic preparation for engineering study, outreach opportunities, bridge programs, as well as the variety of engineering disciplines accessible to students. University faculty in engineering and science education designed and implemented the workshop. Preliminary data from select counselor participants (N=11) indicated that few had teaching experience before becoming a counselor, they advised an average of 251 students/year, they had little knowledge of the Next Generation Science Standards, and they could not differentiate among engineering disciplines. Most spent the majority of their professional time performing college counseling. They reported that women and minorities experience barriers to participation because of lack of knowledge of engineering pathways. Participants in the workshop improved their knowledge of engineering bridge programs and admissions, knowledge of the importance of specific high school coursework to improve success in post-secondary engineering, and knowledge of the importance of outreach participation to promote student interest in engineering. Qualitative data were analyzed to provide insights on improving the accessibility of post-secondary engineering for high school students, particularly those in high needs schools. Findings to date indicate professional development for school counselors is a promising intervention for recruiting and preparing students for engineering careers, an essential goal for maintaining technological innovation and economic vitality in the region and beyond.
Gearns, R. A., & Kelly, A. M., & Bugallo, M. (2018, June), Professional Development for High School Guidance Counselors to Facilitate Pre-college STEM Preparation (RTP) Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/30897
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