An Individual Investigator Development Plan for Building Capacity to Study Undergraduate Latinas Interest in Graduate School
Effective Years: 2022-2025
Advancing participation in engineering is significant for meeting NSF’s goals and benefits national priorities. The University of New Mexico aims to improve understanding of the impacts of Latinas’ undergraduate experiences on their graduate school and career aspirations in engineering. As a designated Hispanic-serving Institution, the University of New Mexico is an ideal site for this study. Through advancing knowledge of the impact of intersectional identities on interest in graduate engineering, the project may inform institutional transformation for enhancing diversity in engineering and influence national STEM graduate training efforts for Latinas. The professional development plan will build research capacity while piloting an integrated study which aims to add to the knowledge base on barriers to graduate engineering education. This project supports the development of a diverse and skilled workforce in engineering and builds capacity for conducting engineering education research at the institution.
The goals of the project are to engage with Latinas to understand their perspectives, ideas, and decisions about graduate school and to understand the intersectional context through which Latinas consider graduate programs. Through this project, the PI will enhance skills to advance knowledge on broadening participation research in STEM and build research capacity at a minority-serving institution. Building upon the community cultural wealth theoretical framework, which recognizes and values cultural knowledge from communities of color, the project seeks to understand Latinas’ experiences by building case studies of individual students. A strong dissemination plan will share the outcomes of the project to a broad audience. The project will be evaluated through formative and summative assessments focusing on project alignment with the logic model, skill development in STEM education research, and knowledge gained concerning Latinas’ graduate school aspirations. The project is supported by NSF's EHR Core Research Building Capacity in STEM Education Research (ECR:BCSER) program, which is designed to build investigators’ capacity to carry out high-quality STEM education research.
This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.