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Professional Development for High School Guidance Counselors to Facilitate Pre-college STEM Preparation (RTP)

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Professional Development for Teachers and Counselors

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education

Tagged Topic


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Paper Authors


Richard A. Gearns Stony Brook University Orcid 16x16

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Richard A. Gearns is a high school physics teacher and Ph.D. candidate in the Institute for STEM Education at Stony Brook University. He attended Buffalo State College where he received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in physics education. He was appointed a New York State Master Teacher in 2014. His research interest is in identifying and reducing barriers to STEM education opportunities for all students.

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Angela M. Kelly Stony Brook University Orcid 16x16

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Angela M. Kelly is an Associate Professor of Physics and the Associate Director of the Science Education Program at Stony Brook University, New York. She attended La Salle University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she received her B.A. degree in chemistry, and completed her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in science education (2000 and 2006, respectively) and her Ed.M. degree in curriculum and teaching (2007) at Teachers College, Columbia University, New York. She is the recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching (2016); the Provost’s Faculty Recognition Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Research from Lehman College, City University of New York (2010); and the Outstanding Teaching Award from Teachers College, Columbia University (2006). Her research has been rooted in a commitment to equity in precollege and university science and engineering.

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Monica Bugallo Stony Brook University Orcid 16x16

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Monica Bugallo is a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Faculty Director of the Women In Science and Engineering (WISE) Honors program at Stony Brook University. She received her B.S., M.S, and Ph. D. degrees in computer science and engineering from University of A Coruna, Spain. She joined the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Stony Brook University in 2002 where she is currently a Professor. Her research interests are in the field of statistical signal processing, with emphasis on the theory of Monte Carlo methods and its application to different disciplines including biomedicine, sensor networks, and finance. In addition, she has focused on STEM education and has initiated several successful programs with the purpose of engaging students at all academic stages in the excitement of engineering and research, with particular focus on underrepresented groups. She has authored and coauthored two book chapters and more than 150 journal papers and refereed conference articles.

Bugallo is a senior member of the IEEE, serves on several of its technical committees and is the current chair of the IEEE Signal Processing Society Education Committee. She has been part of the technical committee and has organized various professional conferences and workshops. She has received several prestigious research and education awards including the award for Best Paper in the IEEE Signal Processing Magazine 2007 as coauthor of a paper entitled "Particle Filtering," the IEEE Outstanding Young Engineer Award (2009), for development and application of computational methods for sequential signal processing, the IEEE Athanasios Papoulis Award (2011), for innovative educational outreach that has inspired high school students and college level women to study engineering, the Stony Brook University Hispanic Heritage Month (HHM) Latino Faculty Recognition Award (2009), and the Chair of Excellence by the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid-Banco de Santander (Spain) (2012).

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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. 10.18260/1-2--30897

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