Discussion on Getting Past the Gateway: An Exploratory Case on Using Utilitarian Scientific Literacy to Support First-Year Students At-Risk of Leaving STEM

In the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM pipeline among college students, Gateway courses act as the initial barrier to persistence. First-year students entering college to obtain a STEM degree continue to face obstacles across the STEM pipeline (Chen, 2013; Leu, 2017). In this case study, researchers investigate the influence of a utilitarian scientific literacy-based academic intervention on the retention of first-year students in STEM using a mixed method approach. These introductory courses are important for STEM majors because they act as the first experience for coursework relevant to the major. In a credit utilitarian science literacy course, a sample (n = 116) of first-year students classified as at-risk of not persisting in STEM were enrolled. The semester long course participants were then compared with a control group of first-year students classified as a risk of STEM persistence. A two-proportion z test was conducted to measure the mean differences between students and a survey to gauge student impressions was given to participants of the course. Quantitative findings (φ 0.34, p < 0.05) suggest that the utilitarian science literacy course had a statistically important effect on the retention of STEM persistence among first-year students at risk. For all students looking for STEM degrees and careers, higher education institutions must take care of shifting the narrative. In addition, qualitative evidence from participant responses identify internal and external development as positive intervention-related outcomes.

Author(s) Details

Brittany Chambers
School of Education, Clark Atlanta University, 223 James P. Brawley Dr., Atlanta, GA 30314, USA.

Amy Salter
Morehouse College, 830 Westview Drive SW, Atlanta, GA 30314, USA.

Lycurgus Muldrow
Morehouse College, 830 Westview Drive SW, Atlanta, GA 30314, USA.

View Book :- https://bp.bookpi.org/index.php/bpi/catalog/book/334

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