Understanding URM STEM graduate students identity integration and assimilation into a community of practice (AGEP-BPR)
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Graduate Students (PhD)Description:
Underrepresented minority graduate students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) face multiple challenges with identity negotiation as they progress through graduate programs at Predominantly White Institutions (PWIs). Underrepresented minorities hold multiple identities reflecting race, ethnicity, gender, social roles, family roles, and career (e.g., scientist, engineer). These identities often conflict and, consequently, influence their choices, persistence, and success during the graduate years. This research project builds on social identity theory to understand the process of identity integration for underrepresented minority graduate students in STEM programs as they integrate into a community of practice. Identity integration is essential for lasting success. Little is known, however, about how multiple identities of underrepresented minorities in STEM conflict, intersect, and integrate as participants become productive members of a STEM community of practice.
Using a mixed-methods approach, this research traces the experiences of underrepresented minority graduate students in order to understand their negotiation of multiple, and often conflicting, identities as they progress through their STEM graduate programs. Pre- and post-surveys will measure changes in identity centrality and scientist-identity-interference. Multiple, regularly-scheduled interviews will assess the process of identity negotiation as graduate students become members of their disciplinary communities of practice. Social network analysis will document peer, colleague, advisor, and other support networks that URM graduate students construct as they become members of their disciplinary community of practice in STEM. Participants will be graduate students in STEM graduate programs at three PWIs. Studying these students over time will enable comparisons of identity integration, identity negotiation, and social networking. Collectively, these data will inform the development of a model for underrepresented minority STEM graduate student identity integration that identifies specific strategies for institutional support needed to promote successful assimilation into a STEM disciplinary community of practice. • Note: program recently funded through NSF AGEP
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Psychology & Behavioral Sciences
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This program is funded by:
National Science Foundation (NSF)
Page last updated 9/21/2015
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The Fisk-Vanderbilt Master’s-to-PhD Bridge Program focuses on increasing the number of underrepresented minorities in astronomy, biology, chemistry, materials science and physics. Students work towards the Master’s degree at Fisk with the intention to enter a PhD program at Vanderbilt or elsewhere, with access to instructional and research opportunities at both institutions. Tuition, stipend, and medical insurance are provided. The application deadline is April 15th. Click here to learn more and apply!Interested in featuring your own program in this space? Click here to learn more.
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