Broadening Participation Research Grant: Career Commitment and Retention in STEM: Building the STEM Workforce
The Tennessee State University HBCU-UP Broadening Participation Research in STEM Education project is entitled Career Commitment and Retention in STEM: Building the STEM Workforce. The proposed effort is a collaboration among faculty in the College of Education; College of Engineering; and College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Resources. The goal is to expand the current theory on effective career development and management interventions for minority STEM students. The study will examine the impact of a research- and theory-based intervention to develop career management skills on commitment to, engagement and retention in, graduation from, and engagement in STEM post graduate study and careers. The PIs hope to provide evidence of the additive impact of specific training in career development and management for minority students at minority-serving institutions using theory- and research-based culturally competent career management interventions.
More specifically, the proposed project is designed to determine whether a research- and theory-based intervention to promote the development of career management skills among minority STEM undergraduates will increase (a) career planning and management skills and knowledge over that developed through existing STEM professional development activities; (b) commitment to and interest, performance, retention, and professional engagement in STEM careers; and (c) participation in professional organizations, volunteer research, internships, field experiences, conferences, and publishing needed for obtaining entrance to graduate programs and high quality employment. The project is designed to determine also whether participation in such interventions will decrease time to graduation.
The proposed project responds to the need for minority students to have realistic expectations about STEM career pathways and concrete professional development plans. The dynamic nature of STEM careers requires students to keep abreast of changing skill requirements. The proposed project will provide STEM majors with increased confidence in their commitment to a STEM career and enable them to develop clear plans for matriculating through undergraduate study and beyond.