Award Number1942274
Funding AgencyNational Science Foundation
Effective Date2020-01-01
Expiration Date2024-12-31
Funding Amount$274,896

Abstract

The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) program is a National Science Foundation-wide activity that offers awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education, and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations. This project awarded to a CAREER scholar has the goal to discover and understand effective, evidence-based mentoring practices and strategies that support the success of minoritized undergraduate science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) students and the intentional preparation of mentors. This project integrates research and education by developing a theoretical framework, mentoring modules, case studies, presentations, webinars, and a graduate course. This award is supported by the EHR Core Research program which supports fundamental STEM Education research initiatives.

Mentoring has been shown to positively affect and influence the persistence of historically minoritized students in STEM, specifically Blacks, Hispanics/Latinx, and American Indians/Alaskan Natives. Yet for mentors in higher education, minimal examples exist that detail effective mentoring approaches, strategies, and competencies that help minoritized mentees to persist and succeed. The goal of this inquiry is to use a rigorous mixed-methods study design to better understand mentoring approaches, coping strategies such as methods used to respond to stressful situations, and perceived competencies of faculty mentors of minoritized students in STEM fields. This work will identify a representative sample of mentors who help minoritized undergraduates persist in STEM; interview these mentors about their approaches and coping strategies; survey mentors and mentees about the mentors' competencies using the validated Mentoring Competency Assessment survey; and interview mentees about their experiences with their mentors. The new knowledge will add to the mentoring literature and its theoretical development based on the assets of the guiding theories of intersectionality and community cultural wealth, and the select nature of the mentors under study. The project will result in the creation of knowledge and tools that support education about effective mentoring across local, regional, and national platforms.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.