Improving faculty perception of and engagement in STEM education

Jonathan Miorelli, Nicholas Stambach, Barbara Moskal, Jerry Dwyer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and the important role that it plays in society and education is receiving increased attention throughout the United States. Even universities, which have been at the frontline of educating STEM professionals, are reviewing and updating their policies and responsibilities. Faculty members often find themselves torn between their commitment to scientific research and their responsibility to prepare the next generation of STEM professionals. The proposed paper will examine the following research questions: • How can universities be structured such that the efforts of faculty members who prioritize the quality of undergraduate STEM education are recognized and supported? • How can universities be structured such that the efforts of faculty members who prioritize K-12 STEM education outreach are recognized and supported? The study, which will be discussed in the proposed manuscript, was conducted at a large public research university with student enrollment in excess of thirty thousand. New faculty members at this institution were asked to complete a survey concerning STEM education and outreach in 2012 and 2014. The survey addressed the faculty member's perceptions of the following: i) personal views concerning STEM education and outreach, ii) peers' attitudes towards STEM education and outreach, and iii) the value the university system places on STEM education and outreach. This survey was coupled with a university-wide effort, which was implemented between the years of 2010 and 2014, to support and encourage faculty who were interested in STEM education and outreach. The results of this investigation support the assertion that new faculty attitudes were better with respect to STEM education and outreach in 2014 when compared to 2012. On average, new faculty felt better prepared to mentor undergraduates in STEM in 2014 than did the new faculty in 2012, with 52% and 79% reporting to be 'well prepared,' respectively. Additionally, new faculty reported a better overall morale in 2014 when compared to 2012 within the institution. The proposed paper will provide further details concerning the changes that were made within the institutions between 2010 and 2014 and the faculty responses to the survey.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2015 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference
Subtitle of host publicationLaunching a New Vision in Engineering Education, FIE 2015 - Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781479984534
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2 2015
Event2015 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2015 - El Paso, United States
Duration: Oct 21 2015Oct 24 2015

Publication series

NameProceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE
Volume2015
ISSN (Print)1539-4565

Conference

Conference2015 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityEl Paso
Period10/21/1510/24/15

Keywords

  • Faculty development
  • STEM Outreach
  • STEM education

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