Accepted under the editorship of Gregory Kelly.
Science Education Policy
Faculty as undergraduate research mentors for students of color: Taking into account the costs†
Version of Record online: 12 APR 2012
Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Volume 96, Issue 3, pages 527–542, May 2012
How to Cite
Schwartz, J. (2012), Faculty as undergraduate research mentors for students of color: Taking into account the costs. Sci. Ed., 96: 527–542. doi: 10.1002/sce.21004
- Issue online: 11 APR 2012
- Version of Record online: 12 APR 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 28 OCT 2011
- Manuscript Received: 30 APR 2011
This article is based on the findings of a 2-year study that examined the nature of effective faculty/student undergraduate research (UR) science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) relationships. The study site was a large urban public college where three fourths of all incoming freshmen receive need-based aid; and although not a historically Black college or university (HBCU), 85% are students of color. The college offers 2- and 4-year STEM degree programs. Utilizing cultural historical activity theory (CHAT) as both a theoretical and methodological framework, this phenomenological study employed semistructured interviews, written surveys, and member checking to understand four paired faculty/student UR mentoring relationships over 2 years. The findings not only concur with the bulk of UR research, indicating UR's promise for addressing the low enrollment and retention rates of students of color in the STEM disciplines but also raise issues around the emotional, financial, and professional costs to UR faculty. It is these costs that are the focus of this article that concludes with ideas, for university and college administrators and all others concerned, about on how we might support faculty in UR's crucial work toward the goal of retaining students of color in STEM. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Sci Ed 96:527–542, 2012