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Towards an Employability Model for STEM Majors: Engagement-based, Service-producing, and Experience-driven

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

CEED Technical Session I: WIP: Experiential Learning Potpourri

Tagged Division

Cooperative and Experiential Education

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Paper Authors


Faye R. Jones Florida State University

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Faye R. Jones is a Senior Research Associate at Florida State University’s College of Communication & Information. Her research interests include STEM student outcomes and the exploration of student pathways through institutional research.

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Marcia A. Mardis Florida A&M University/Florida State University Orcid 16x16

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Marcia A. Mardis is a Professor and Associate Dean at Florida State University's College of Communication & Information and Associate Director of the Information Institute. Author of numerous publication and recipient of over two decades of federally funded research grants, Dr. Mardis' work focuses on professional identity creation, educational text and data mining, and technician education improvement.

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Ebrahim Randeree Florida State University

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Joined the faculty at the College of Communication & Information at Florida State University (FSU) in August 2006. Previous education includes an MBA with concentrations in Health Systems Management and M.I.S. (Univ at Buffalo) and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science (Rochester Institute of Technology). Research focus in STEM Education, Health Informatics, and Technology Adoption; teaching focus in leadership, career prep, health informatics, and technology.

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In this theoretical work-in-progress paper, we present Employ-STEM, a mentored employability model for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) majors which integrates foundational concepts of experiential learning to enhance students’ educational experiences beyond the classroom, develop employability skills, and culminate in employment. The premise of this model is that, under the guidance of a faculty mentor, students benefit from three main learning opportunities: 1) experiential leadership development, which requires placing students in opportunities that allow them to practice leading; 2) service learning, which provides opportunities for learning through interactions with communities, schools, and non-profit organizations; and 3) experiential learning, which covers work-integrated learning, internships, apprenticeships, and other hands-on activities. These engagement opportunities are consistent with Tinto’s theory of student integration, which postulates that academic and social integration are key factors for increasing student persistence and graduation. Through a synthesis of the main facets of these theory-based approaches, we will: 1) describe an employability model for STEM majors, 2) illustrate important elements of this model; 3) share two vignettes which incorporates elements of the Employ-STEM model; and 4) identify next steps to improve and test the model.

Jones, F. R., & Mardis, M. A., & Randeree, E. (2019, June), Towards an Employability Model for STEM Majors: Engagement-based, Service-producing, and Experience-driven Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida.

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