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The Role of Faculty Guest Speakers and Research Lab Visits in STEM Major Selection: A Qualitative Inquiry

Authors:

Christopher T. Belser ,

University of New Orleans, US
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Diandra J. Prescod,

Pennsylvania State University, US
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Andrew P. Daire,

Virginia Commonwealth University, US
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Katelyn F. Cushey,

University of Central Florida, US
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Rikako Karaki,

School District of Osceola County, FL, US
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Cynthia Y. Young,

Clemson University, US
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Melissa A. Dagley

University of Central Florida, US
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Abstract

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) recruitment programs are growing at post-secondary institutions in response to the national shortage of trained workers in STEM fields. Many programs prove effective in recruiting students into STEM majors with research indicating the benefits of experiential learning activities in program outcomes. This study qualitatively examined the experiences of first-year undergraduate students in a STEM-focused career planning class within a STEM recruitment program. Findings illuminated the importance of STEM faculty guest lectures and research lab visits in providing meaningful opportunities to learn more about specific STEM fields and to make career decisions. Recommendations for programmatic improvements are also made based on critical feedback on the structure and content of these experiential activities.
How to Cite: Belser, C.T., Prescod, D.J., Daire, A.P., Cushey, K.F., Karaki, R., Young, C.Y. and Dagley, M.A., 2018. The Role of Faculty Guest Speakers and Research Lab Visits in STEM Major Selection: A Qualitative Inquiry. Journal of Career and Technical Education, 33(1), pp.8–26. DOI: http://doi.org/10.21061/jcte.v33i1.a1
Published on 24 Dec 2018.

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