A Quantitative Analysis of a Customized Peer Mentoring Program with STEM Underrepresented Students
Keywords:Customized mentoring, mentoring, STEM program, underrepresented students
This article highlights a customized mentoring program that successfully supported underrepresented students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines at a university in the northeastern part of the United States (U.S.). Because of the national and regional needs to augment underrepresented, minority, first-generation, and low-income STEM college students, this study investigated efforts to expand the number and retain such population in higher education STEM programs through a customized mentoring program based on a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant. In particular, we evaluated the necessity of strong and broad-based mentoring characteristics using assessment tools and surveys. The study was conducted with 34 participants in STEM fields. The participants’ motivation mean scores in STEM was measured at three different points in time (pre-, mid-, and end-year) and compared using descriptive statistics and repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA). Results obtained indicated significant improvement in mentoring characteristics such as goal orientation, resource management, and academic performance with mean scores ranging from 4.99 to 5.21. Although additional findings from the repeated measures ANOVA showed no statistically significant differences, however, the marginal mean scores suggest the customized mentoring program had some positive effect and the mentoring practices supported underrepresented groups toward successful navigation of STEM disciplines. We discuss the study limitations, implications, and future research directions.
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