Icon for: Germysha Little


Tennessee State University

Top Mentoring Practices for Undergraduate STEM Students

NSF Awards: 1549591

2016 (see original presentation & discussion)


• “In the past decade, the proportion of undergraduate students from underrepresented groups pursuing degrees in STEM fields has only increased 3%, with several groups experiencing no growth at all. To address the significant need in our country for supporting students in their journey to completing a degree in STEM fields, efforts to develop effective mentoring practices should be undertaken.”
• The two main points will be the number of mentors per student and the top five mentoring practices:
o Only 26% of students had one mentor or less. The remainder of the students had more than two or more mentors, with 15% having more than four mentors.
o “An effective program will include practices that students rated the most effective. Mentees stated that they want their mentor to be passionate about their development, create opportunities, set high expectations, provide needed support, and respect their confidentiality. A mentoring relationship with these aspects in mind will help guide a mentee to be successful in the STEM fields.”
• “A mentoring relationship can provide guidance, educational opportunities, and moral support, and this relationship is beneficial in ensuring student success. The identification of the top mentoring practices in this study and the characteristic that a mentoring relationship usually consists of more than one mentor will be the foundation of an effective mentoring program and ultimately an increase in the amount of STEM degrees awarded to underrepresented students.”

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