African American Students' Perspectives of Research Experiences with Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math (STEM) Faculty Mentors at a Historically Black University

Denise D Green, Tennessee State University

Abstract

The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to examine faculty research mentoring experiences through the perceptions and lived experiences of African American undergraduate STEM students at an urban, public HBCU in the South. The aim was to understand how students at an HBCU described their faculty research mentoring experiences, the influence of the research experience on future career choices, and ways in which the faculty research mentoring experience may be improved. Study participants described the research experience as positive and commented that a faculty research mentoring experience contributed to persistence in a STEM discipline if the research experience began in the sophomore year or earlier. They were influenced by the faculty research experience to alter their vision of the future, whether pursuing graduate studies in STEM disciplines or entering the workforce. While students appreciated the chance to engage in a research experience, some students felt they could have benefited more if the research experience was organized or if they had an opportunity to spend more time working with their faculty mentors on the research. Five themes emerged: 1) communication about research opportunities and with STEM faculty, 2) faculty-student relationship, 3) descriptions of research experience, 4) best practices suggestions, and 5) institutional support for research and STEM.^

Subject Area

Educational leadership|Education

Recommended Citation

Denise D Green, "African American Students' Perspectives of Research Experiences with Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math (STEM) Faculty Mentors at a Historically Black University" (2015). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI10003146.
http://digitalscholarship.tnstate.edu/dissertations/AAI10003146

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