Mentoring as a Means to Build Perceived Personal Capacity in STEM

While others are toiling over New Year's Resolutions, Couragion is celebrating National Mentoring Month (NMM) this January to promote youth mentoring!

So why is mentoring so critical? In “Gender Differences in Interest, Perceived Personal Capacity, and Participation in STEM-Related Activities” the research showed that perceived personal capacity is an important factor in measuring student success in STEM. Couragion builds perceived personal capacity by helping students to envision themselves in a STEM career by not only showing them the existence of such careers but by elevating near peer mentors and role models who mirror the students’ demographics.

Vanessa - one of Couragion’s amazing role models and mentors!

Vanessa - one of Couragion’s amazing role models and mentors!

As part of Couragion's research, we look at a metric called 'role model match'. Role model match measures the possibility that a student selects a role model who is of the same gender or race. While classroom observation has repeatedly validated that students chose role models who look like themselves, Couragion’s quantitative data validates those observations for especially for tech careers.

83% of female students initially select a tech role model who is female; whereby 15% of male students select a tech role model who is also male. 85% of the students of color initially select a tech role model who is from a community of color; whereby 14% of white students select a tech role model who is also white. Couragion's near peer, diverse mentors are sparking perceived personal capacity in students and giving them the courage to begin their pursuit of a STEM-related career.

Don't forget to thank and honor your own mentors on January 31st for the 2019 #ThankYourMentor Day!

 

Source:  Weber, K., (2012) Gender Differences in Interest, Perceived Personal Capacity, and Participation in STEM-Related Activities, Journal of Technology Education, Vol. 24 No. 1, Fall 2012.

Melissa RisteffComment