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Mentoring

2017

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Florida International University

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Do Mentoring Programs Make A Difference? A Qualitative Case Study On The Journey Of Latino Students In A Stem Track, Juan M. Morata Nov 2017

Do Mentoring Programs Make A Difference? A Qualitative Case Study On The Journey Of Latino Students In A Stem Track, Juan M. Morata

FIU Electronic Theses and Dissertations

A number of studies have sought to identify factors influencing STEM students’ success in colleges and universities (Crisp et al., 2009; Excelencia, 2011; Hagedorn & Purnamasari, 2012). However, there are few qualitative studies focusing on students’ perspectives and how they make meaning of their experiences as participants in a mentoring program.

The main purpose of this research was to explain the perceptions of Latino students in a STEM Mentoring Program at Miami Dade College. Because this study sought to gain an in-depth understanding of how students involved in a mentoring program make meaning of their experiences, the type of qualitative research that fits this inquiry was a single case study. This study was undertaken to address these questions: (a) How do STEM students make meaning of mentorship? (b) How do STEM students construct their experiences in the Program? (c) To what extent do gender and ethnicity play a role in how students make meaning of their mentoring experiences? (d) What do students identify as important for succeeding in a mentorship program?

The major findings of this study were: (1) For the participants, a formal mentoring programs offers various forms of academic support, but they found interpersonal support with informal mentors; (2) For the participants, in a formal mentoring program a career match between mentor and mentee is essential; (3) For the participants, the required number of meetings in a formal mentoring program was burdensome, but other required activities were important; (4) For the participants, the peer mentoring experience was important and self-fulfilling; (5) For the participants, the gender or race of the mentor was insignificant, but some believed that sharing the same cultural background made them ...