Women in STEM: here to pave the path for STEM students
Transition can be difficult. The juggle between a job, family responsibilities, and school can be even more difficult. Sometimes it can feel like you’re alone through the process of it all, but it doesn’t have to be that way anymore.
Broward College offers a variety of remarkable mentor programs where trained mentors are prepared to the student.
The Women in Stem Mentoring Program (WSMP) is one example of this. Their goal is to empower mentees in the STEM pathway and encourage academic growth.
Centered on South Campus and aimed at freshmen female students (but not excluding other prospective students), WSMP is ready to tackle the hardships mathematics and science students face within this pathway. The mentors receive leadership training by STEM professionals, volunteer hours, and a certificate of recognition.
Mentees receive academic networking to the resources on campus including: teachers, lab tutors, advisors, counselors and more. Also, collaborating with others to achieve their highest capacities is possible while planning their academic progress.
The duration of WSMP is Fall 2019 for the field experience and Spring 2020 for the presentation of results of the program. Meeting for a minimum of 30 minutes on campus at the library, cafeteria, or any green area, the objective of the mentor is to listen, be resourceful and be expeditious from a critical thinking point of action.
Dr. Denise Rodriguez Brown, STEM Pathway Adviser & SoTL Grant Manager of the WSMP, feels that the participants will not only feel strongly empowered but also be given the capability to achieve their career dream with their STEM skills. When asked what she was most excited about, she said the following:
“This program is a great opportunity to assist students from a research stand point. It’s a chance to replicate past studies with mentoring components that make total sense when dealing with STEM first time in college (FTICs) dropouts, change-of-major paths, or delayed graduation prevention mechanisms.”
Venit et al (2012) explains how mentoring allows the type of frame able to produce sound effects and academic progress. Thus, FTICs have a higher chance for success in their first year of college when they start strong assisted by a mentor.
Brown says, “these findings have some progressive institutions doubling-down on strategies encouraging new students to take more courses in their first year.” With this idea in mind, the WSMP is here a to promote mentor-mentee relationships that focus on: STEM math skills building, strong GPAs and effective navigation of campus resources.
The WMSP’s goal is to assist first-time college students immediately as they settle in the college life to start their college experience feeling motivated and equipped.
The mentors are a group of individuals who experienced and overcame the obstacles that the STEM pathway includes. They serve as a guide for new students who might not be aware of the tricks and resources at BC. Whether it’s struggling with getting to a certain placement on the PERT or it’s going through a tough class, the mentors act as assistance for these academic barriers. However, it isn’t only the academic area they cover. The mentors are there to listen to outside factors that may be affecting students so they are conscious of the help the college offers.
Luis Bequer, a mentor, says, “I feel very excited about this because I will have the opportunity to help women succeed in their career. They have a lot more barriers than men. They have to overcome all those barriers and sometimes they get frustrated for it. And that will be an honor for me to help them to soften that barrier,” he said.
WMSP is a program filled with BC students that are passionate and geared towards helping one another.
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