June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
NSF Grantees Poster Session
26.1443.1 - 26.1443.14
Supporting Students’ Plans for STEM Careers: How Prepared are High School Educators in Appalachia to Help? Studies on high school student preparedness for college often consider student grade pointaverages and standardized test results as markers for predicting student success in college. Such studiesinform researchers, educators, and the policies of regional education boards, such as the SouthernRegional Education Board. Limiting the research to the curriculum and test requirements may not fullycapture how prepared students are to attend college; students must understand how to choose andapply to a college. Not having this knowledge may contribute to the gap between students planning onattending college and those that actually do attend college. Knowledge of processes may be particularlyimportant for first generation college students wishing to enter science, technology, engineering, andmath (STEM) careers. Such careers often require specific degrees not offered by all colleges and firstgeneration college students may not have help from parents in understanding such requirements. Infact, research on Appalachian student’s career choice goals has revealed gaps in student’s knowledge ofthe actions necessary to achieve their career choice. Therefore, research on educator’s ability andconfidence to assist students, in particular for STEM careers, is needed. The current analysis was part of a larger NSF Funded project investigating barriers toengineering as a career choice among Appalachian High School students. Qualitative data from highschool student interviews and a stakeholder meeting with county administrators revealed three areas inneed of additional research. First, gaps between student perspectives related to career choices andeducators perceptions of student’s awareness; second, educators’ knowledge and confidence to discussSTEM careers with students; and third, awareness of what STEM interventions, if any, existed in theschools and in the community. To examine the pervasiveness of these three gaps, we developed anddeployed a survey in the Central Appalachian counties in Virginia. We designed the survey to captureeducator’s self-reported knowledge of STEM careers, their confidence in coaching students relative toSTEM careers, and their awareness of STEM resources and activities (both at their school and in thecommunity). The survey population of interest was high school teachers, guidance counselors, careercoaches, and county administrators. Close-ended questions were the primary sources of information,however a set of open-ended questions were included to capture additional comments and concerns ofthe three primary data areas. The survey was expert reviewed by members of the larger researchproject team and engineering educators with survey development experience to improve face validity.In addition, the survey was rolled out to a limited number of school educators to receive initial feedbackon the survey. The survey was then distributed to county administrators who had access to listservs foreach high school in the targeted region. In addition to sharing the results through a paper/poster atASEE, we intended to disseminate the results to each of the schools participating in the project.
Carrico, C., & Boynton, M. A., & Matusovich, H. M., & Paretti, M. C. (2015, June), Supporting Students’ Plans for STEM Careers: How Prepared are High School Educators in Appalachia to Help? Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24780
ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2015 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015