Recruiting Appalachian Girls to STEM Educational and Career Paths: Implications for Teacher Education
Tuesday, March 8 10:45 AM-11:15 AM Location: Evergreen
Presider: Karen McFerrin, Northwestern State University of Louisiana, United States
Abstract: Adapting a social stress model for Appalachian STEM educational/career recruitment, we argue traditional recruiting and retention methods are not efficacious for Appalachian girls. A survey of 107 high school sophomores and juniors suggested ways recruiting and retention efforts should be modified to attract more Appalachian girls to engineering. These Appalachian girls reported higher confidence than boys in their abilities in time management, difficult math, and college work. They preferred support from same sex peers when making college/major decisions and from same sex peers and professors if experiencing difficulty in college classes. The need is clear for more gender specific peer support and role models to attract and retain Appalachian girls in engineering educational/career paths. This work has important implications for teachers who want to help spark girls’ interest in and facilitate their success in STEM disciplines.