August 2021: Improving the Undergraduate Experience: Supporting Underrepresented Students in STEM & Computing

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Programs across the country are interested in researching and understanding best practices to recruit, support and retain underrepresented students in STEM and computing fields. This month we will hear from four projects that provide students with exposure to career paths, research experiences, faculty mentoring and other initiatives preparing them for graduate school and the STEM and computing workforce. Come be part of the conversation.

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August Theme of the Month Panel: Improving the Undergraduate Experience: Supporting Underrepresented Students in STEM & Computing

Recorded: Aug 10, 2021 at 3:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time

Description: During this webinar, we will hear from four projects that provide students with exposure to career paths, research experiences, faculty mentoring and other initiatives preparing them for graduate school and the STEM and computing workforce. Come be part of the conversation. There will be a one-hour panel followed by a twenty-minute breakout session where you can share your questions and experiences.

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  • Icon for: GABRIELLA ASHFORD

    GABRIELLA ASHFORD

    August 10, 2021 | 04:35 p.m.

    Is there a list of professors that are available by state so that I can try and partner with one in Washington to try and get funding to pay peer mentors stipends or internships. I have a 10 year K-12 STEM program that is ready to step up to that level. We have piloted the program, and the teachers in the rural Washington State classroom need the student peer mentors help in teaching STEM.

  • August 10, 2021 | 05:18 p.m.

    Good question! If you know that you want a Washington State professor, I encourage you to contact professors from surrounding colleges and universities with a mentoring invitation, either for the faculty or the students.  We've found that virtual mentoring works very well and the mentors are even more likely to participate as virtual mentoring can fit in well with their regular schedule.  (Particularly good for peer student mentors!) Depending on the STEM disciplines needed, you could bring in mentors from several different campuses, which would broaden the community of college and universities participating and providing students with many examples.

  • August 11, 2021 | 10:11 a.m.

    Another suggestion is to search the NSF awards and identify projects and the PIs who align with your interests.  NSF Award Search: Simple Search.  

  • Icon for: Emma Perez

    Emma Perez

    August 10, 2021 | 04:43 p.m.

    Will there be a recording of today's webinar? Thank you.

  • Icon for: Kimberly Descoteaux

    Kimberly Descoteaux

    August 10, 2021 | 08:35 p.m.

    HI Emma, Yes, there is a recording available here: https://multiplex.videohall.com/pages/august2021webinar

  • August 11, 2021 | 10:24 a.m.

    One of the themes that emerged from the discussions highlighted the importance of building communities of learners. Consider communities of faculty and staff who share strategies and lessons learned (Metroplex provides mechanisms for building such communities); communities of students that can reinforce students’ STEM identify and a sense of belonging (the panelists described such communities); and hybrid communities that includes regional and national partners who can provide the needed support structures. I encourage you to review the NSF INCLUDES (Inclusion Across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science) program.  INCLUDES alliances use a Collect Impact model or Network Improvement Community framework to accelerate change.  Here's a nice article about the newly awarded alliances:  NSF Awards $50 Million To Create Five University-Led Alliances Promoting STEM Education for Underrepresented Groups (forbes.com) 

  • Icon for: GABRIELLA ASHFORD

    GABRIELLA ASHFORD

    August 11, 2021 | 07:48 p.m.

    Yes, we are pretty rural but I have reached out to a UW professor today, and having this national level conversation has left me inspired to partner outside of my community to drive the change within my community. Not just that but it makes me realize that for the last 10 years, other people with the same paths have been driving the same route - just in different vehicles. It's incredibly uplifting. It would also help to have an accountability circle where once a week - we outline our goals, troubleshoot what is preventing getting to the goal, and support each other as we hit new milestones. For example, I managed to get a STEM council rolling before Covid, and then since then, the librarian who was a cornerstone to it has been overwhelmed, so starting it back up has been super hard. Where as in this conversation, we are all focused on the same problems... How would we initiate a 3 month accountability circle (say meets once a week, ends in November...)

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Related Resources

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