Public Discussion

  • Icon for: Suzanne Barbour

    Suzanne Barbour

    Presenter
    March 20, 2017 | 08:22 a.m.

    Good morning. We welcome feedback on our INCLUDES project. Our goal is to both provide URM undergraduates with additional insights into the "culture" of masters vs doctoral; majority vs MSI; and public vs private institutions and to learn from their experiences to adjust our institutional cultures to better serve them.

  • Icon for: Mia Ong

    Mia Ong

    Facilitator
    March 20, 2017 | 09:28 a.m.

    Hello, Suzanne! I really enjoyed watching your video. The alliance structure you have in place seems to allow an innovative opportunity for the exchange program as well as potential for improvement of STEM environments and educators' instruction through the collaborative inquiry. I was wondering about a couple of things: 1) What types of insights do you anticipate students and educators will gain? 2) How will you measure the impacts of the exchange program and collaborative inquiry, i.e., what would success look like to you? Thanks.

  • Icon for: Suzanne Barbour

    Suzanne Barbour

    Presenter
    March 20, 2017 | 09:52 a.m.

    Hi Mia,

    Thanks for your comments. We hope that students will gain a measure of "cultural competence" that would allow them to thrive at the various institutions in our alliance. For example, a MSI student might be better prepared to deal with the "culture shock" of a majority institution. At the same time, we hope that faculty will gain insights into aspects of institutional culture that either support or hinder underrepresented students in STEM. Our goal is to use those insights to enhance the CIRTL "Diversity in the Classroom" course. 

    If we are successful, the students feel more empowered, both at their home institutions and the host schools. Hopefully, this will translate into increased retention in STEM majors and interest in careers in STEM. We also hope to effect institutional change, though the information that is disseminated through the CIRTL course.

  • Icon for: Mia Ong

    Mia Ong

    Facilitator
    March 23, 2017 | 05:48 p.m.

    Thanks for your answer, Suzanne. I wanted to alert you to the research of Joretta Joseph, who studied students who went to HBCUs for undergraduate STEM programs and then attended graduate STEM programs at PWIs. Her work may have some insights for the student course. Also, do you anticipate that students in your program may go from the PWI to an MSI? If so, how might you prepare students for that experience? Good luck with your program as it goes forth! And thanks.

  • Icon for: Jeanne Century

    Jeanne Century

    Facilitator
    March 20, 2017 | 12:17 p.m.

    Good morning, Suzanne - Wow, what an interesting and ambitious project you are proposing. I'm struck by the challenge of having students engage in introspective and reflective conversations in the collaborative inquiry process. How will they be facilitated (who will do it, what kind of training or support will the facilitators get)?

    Also, in consideration of your comment above, what are the ways you have considered learning more about whether faculty actually do gain the insights into institutional culture that you are hoping they will gain? 

    Thanks - Jeanne

  • Icon for: Suzanne Barbour

    Suzanne Barbour

    Presenter
    March 21, 2017 | 08:10 a.m.

    Jeanne:

    Thanks for your comments. The facilitators are STEM faculty members who are committed to student development. Co-PI Jo Walther held a training session (Zoom conference) to introduce them to the concept of collaborative inquiry. Essentially, we will provide the students with auto ethnographic assignments, give them the opportunity to share and reflect, introduce a bit a theory related to their reflections, and then encourage them to develop research questions. The whole experience is meant to be student-driven. They are investigating themselves and their experiences. As an example, Jo has suggested "homecoming on my campus" as one of the early exercises. 

    On the faculty side, our plan is to glean information from the student's reflections and to use this information to modify Diversity in the Classroom. We are hoping (assuming) some patterns will emerge. We will use CIRTL assessment tools to assess faculty learning. On the student side, Co-PI Pedro Portes will adapt Cultural Adaptation, Self Esteem, and Depression (CADI) survey to assess impact on INCLUDES students.

  • Icon for: Jeanne Century

    Jeanne Century

    Facilitator
    March 22, 2017 | 09:29 a.m.

    Thanks for your response, Suzanne - the process sounds like it will be really rich and rewarding for the students. The use of the CADI survey sounds very interesting as well!  I look forward to hearing more. 

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    Erica Harvey

    Higher Ed Faculty
    March 20, 2017 | 12:31 p.m.

    What an interesting project!  I'm curious about some of the nuts and bolts that are somewhat related to our First Two INCLUDES pilot.  How many students will be involved in the program?  Are they from all different disciplines?  Will they be physically getting together with each other (and a facilitator? - see Jeanne Century's question above) during their exchange year?  Was there a pre-existing transfer situation set up to make this easier, or are you having to work out all the details like differences in tuition, course transferability, etc.?

  • Icon for: Suzanne Barbour

    Suzanne Barbour

    Presenter
    March 21, 2017 | 08:18 a.m.

    Eric: Thanks for your comments. Twelve students are involved in the exchange. It is important to keep the collaborative inquiry groups small, to mange the discussion and data analysis. We did not attempt to match the disciplines (all are from STEM). All are rising sophomores. Before the exchange, students will meet in cohorts on their home campuses and the entire group will get together through a Zoom conference in mid-April. Then, the groups will be "scrambled" when the students spend the fall semester at their host institutions. In the spring of 2018, we envision that students will work on synthesizing information from their fall experiences and also that the home institution groups will come back together for additional reflection. Each campus will have a facilitator who will meet face to face with the group. 

    The UGA-FIU exchange is mediated through the National Student Exchange. Fortunately, this arrangement allows UGA students to take their HOPE and Zell Miller scholarships to Florida. The CAU-SSU-FVSU-UGA exchanges will be mediated through transient student status. Three of the four institutions are in the University System of Georgia, which makes the process a bit easier. 

  • Icon for: Sarah Lee

    Sarah Lee

    Assistant Clinical Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies
    March 21, 2017 | 10:21 a.m.

    I love the idea of the exchange program. I am very interested in learning about the outcomes of that implementation.

  • Icon for: Suzanne Barbour

    Suzanne Barbour

    Presenter
    March 21, 2017 | 11:19 a.m.

    Sarah: Thank you! We will look forward to sharing our outcomes!

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    Mark Leddy

    Guest
    March 21, 2017 | 12:09 p.m.

    Congratulations on the submission of the video!

  • Icon for: Suzanne Barbour

    Suzanne Barbour

    Presenter
    March 21, 2017 | 12:25 p.m.

    Thanks, Mark. We've admitted our students and are working out logistics of the exchange. I am very excited about the prospect of collaborative inquiry.....

  • Icon for: Janice Jackson

    Janice Jackson

    Facilitator
    March 21, 2017 | 11:57 p.m.

    Suzanne, the use of collaborative inquiry groups is a great framework to engage students in reflection.  It seems that you have aspirations for the students from underrepresented groups.  Which groups are you targeting? When you use the term "cultural competence" what do you mean?  You hope the faculty will gain insights to help them improve the diversity class.  What do you look to accomplish in terms of changing the university's culture?  This is a bravo endeavor that require attention to students' sense of self and identity. I look forward to seeing how it goes.

  • Icon for: Suzanne Barbour

    Suzanne Barbour

    Presenter
    March 22, 2017 | 07:41 a.m.

    Janice: Thanks for the suggestions. We are targeting underrepresented minority students at UGA and the four MSIs (Savannah State, Fort Valley State, Florida International, and Clark Atlanta) in the Alliance. The goal is to provide these students with insights into differences in the "environments" of our institutions-----with hopes that this will empower them and better prepare them to function in those environments. We also hope to learn from the students' experiences and to use that information to effect institutional change in a way that makes our institutions more inclusive, supportive, and productive. We have coordinators at each institution who will work with the students in small groups and are hoping this will provide the support the students need during the exchange. We also tried to select students who have an inherent sense of "adventure"---assuming such individuals would be more likely to thrive at an institution that is very different than their home institution. The last thing we want is for this experience to set the students back.

  • Icon for: Jeanne Century

    Jeanne Century

    Facilitator
    March 22, 2017 | 09:31 a.m.

    Hi Suzanne - could you tell us a little more about the substance (content and organization) of the Zoom conference? Are there particular resources or exercises the students will do. Or, is there a link you can point us to? Thanks!

  • Icon for: Suzanne Barbour

    Suzanne Barbour

    Presenter
    March 23, 2017 | 04:51 p.m.

    Jeanne: I've just sent the two-page description that we provided to facilitators to your email address. Please let us know if you have other questions.

  • Icon for: Jeanne Century

    Jeanne Century

    Facilitator
    March 24, 2017 | 08:37 a.m.

    Thanks so much for sending, Suzanne - I look forward to taking a closer look. 

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    Nicki Sochacka

    Higher Ed Faculty
    March 23, 2017 | 02:32 p.m.

    Hi Suzanne, it was great to meet you the other day during Bev's visit. I just wanted to say that I loved your video and I am really excited to see the outcomes of the project, particular the collaborative inquiry part.

  • Icon for: Suzanne Barbour

    Suzanne Barbour

    Presenter
    March 23, 2017 | 04:52 p.m.

    Nicki,

    Great to meet you, too. The collaborative inquiry is the brainchild of Jo Walther in UGA College of Engineering. We'll keep you posted on our outcomes. Thanks so much for your interest in our project.

    Suzanne

  • Icon for: Janice Jackson

    Janice Jackson

    Facilitator
    March 25, 2017 | 11:44 p.m.

    Susanne, can you send me the Zoom description again.  I think my email address was incorrect.

    When I think about the faculty side, what do you anticipate doing for faculty who don't teach the diversity course?  How will changes be made in the culture of the institutions?  As you know sensitivity to diversity should be a responsibility of all faculty and the admin side of the institution.  That is not a simple change where it is not already happening.

  • Icon for: Suzanne Barbour

    Suzanne Barbour

    Presenter
    March 27, 2017 | 12:14 p.m.

    Janice: Thanks for your comments. I appreciate your concerns regarding institutional commitment to diversity. We are hoping to start by changing institutional culture at our five institutions, based on data we collect in the INCLUDES project. I anticipate that there will be gains from those changes (increased recruitment/ retention of diverse  undergraduate and graduate students; increased research productivity of diverse graduate students; increased research productivity of faculty; increased number of federal grants/ contracts) that will be attractive to other institutions. We will collect and disseminate those data, in hopes that we can use them to convince other institutions to apply our strategies. I realize this is a "long game", but changes in institutional culture typically do not come quickly.

  • Icon for: Suzanne Barbour

    Suzanne Barbour

    Presenter
    March 27, 2017 | 12:10 p.m.

    Janice: I'm pasting content of the document we shared during facilitator training: 

     

    INCLUDES – Collaborative Inquiry planning Collaborative inquiry

    The focus of collaborative inquiry is to generate transferable insights from the systematic engagement with, and shared sense-making of, own experience. In this investigation, this means that students will participate as co-researchers and draw on their own experiences to generate transferable insights about individual, institutional, or cultural features of underrepresentation and formulate specific recommendations on the basis of these insights.

    In a collaborative inquiry, the participants define the group's process in terms of the specific focus of the inquiry, shared methods, and desired outcomes.

    Collaborative inquiry comprises repeated cycles of reflection and action on lived experiences (i.e., observe, reflect, make-sense/plan, act).

    Encountering and engaging with relevant theory or prior work relevant to the inquiry focus serves to (i) prompt and sharpen observations of own experience and, (ii) locate transferable insights within the broader discourse of a relevant research/practice community.

    Participants Student participants

    Students should have an inquisitive, critical, and reflective attitude towards their own learning and development. An emerging interest in issues of underrepresentation is desirable to motivate participation in the shared inquiry. Participants require well developed general writing and communication skills not limited to their technical domain. A collaborative inquiry requires participants to closely work with others in an environment characterized by trust, openness, and mutual support - participants should demonstrate a level of commitment to these ideals.

    Facilitator / guide

    Facilitating the collaborative inquiry groups focuses on supporting the students' process. The facilitator ideally guides students to formulate their own inquiry question and articulate their shared process of recording individual experiences, documenting shared sense-making, and articulating critical insight.

    The facilitator role does not necessarily require deep methodological or content expertise and could constitute a significant learning and development opportunity for the facilitator. Individuals in this role should embody the following skills and qualities:

    • Experience in facilitating groups and collaborative structures
    • Interest in educational inquiry and issues of underrepresentation
    • Experience in reflective and academic writing, preferably in collaborative modes
    • Experience in facilitating and structuring student reflections (eliciting accounts of experience, asking divergent questions, fostering critical questioning and insight, attention to process, and focus on articulating transferable insights).

    More specifically, facilitating a collaborative inquiry group comprises the following tasks:

    • Convening the group and creating the basis for self-organization and independent inquiry
    • Providing an overview of the INCLUDES project context and goal and giving an introduction to the principles, methods, and outcomes of a collaborative inquiry (CI How-to guide prepared by PI Walther)
    • Introducing theory and prior research around underrepresentation through reading discussions (Reading plans or workshops prepared by PIs Walther / Birkes/White)
    • Providing support for the group's collaborative writing or creative dissemination efforts: Helping students to define process, medium, outcomes, plan, and monitor progression along these self-defined goals.
    Time line

    Semester

    Date

    Event description

    Spring 2017

    (Home institution)

    02.28.

    Facilitator training (zoom meeting)

     

    CI meeting #1 (local group):

    • Form CI group (Group Formation How-to Guide will be provided)
    • Ethnography assignment (assignment will be provided)

     

    CI meeting #2 (local group):

    • Share experiences / observations from ethnography assignment (Reflection How-to Guide will be provided)
    • Develop CI process
    • Reading assignment (Source and guiding questions will be provided)

     

    CI meeting #3 (local group):

    • Encounter theory discussion based on reading assignment (Discussion Guide will be provided)
    • Define shared process, lay out inquiry plan, define inquiry question
    • Assignment: Prepare presentation for inter-group meeting

    week of 04.17

    Inter-group meeting (virtual):

    • Share insights about content and process. Discuss and optimize inquiry plans for the exchange experience

    Summer and Fall 2018 (Host institution)

     

    Regular CI meetings of local group (every two weeks):

    • Debriefing, reflection, and shared sense-making
    • Encountering and discussing prior work and theory

     

    Periodic inter-group meetings (once per month)

    • Articulate insights, present evidence, formulate suggestions

    Project completion

     

    Disseminate findings

    • Could we find an outlet (conference, local workshop, ?) for students to present an overall synthesis of their experience, shared sense-making and insight?

     

     

    Note that each facilitator will facilitate the leaving group(s) at their home institution in the Spring semester and the arriving group(s) at their home institution in the Fall semester.

     

    Details for the three CI group meetings:

    1. Form collaborative inquiry group
      • Overview of purpose, method, and goal
      • Reflection: Why am I here? What do I want to achieve
      • Discussion: Ground rules and shared commitments.
      • Brainstorming: CI question – What interests you as a group in this space?
      • Distribute and discuss ethnography assignment
    2. Share experiences and develop CI process
      • Share accounts and insights from autoethnography assignment
      • Develop CI process: How do you as a group plan to coherently (a) record your experiences, (b) document your shared sense making in the group, and (c) articulate and share your insights?
      • Reading assignment: Theory and prior work in the area of underrepresentation
    3. Encounter theory and develop CI plan
      • Guided discussion of reading assignment: What was surprising? What interests you? What did you learn?
      • Develop inquiry plan (to present in the inter-group meeting):
        1. Articulate and develop consensus around ground rules
        2. Re-visit and define preliminary inquiry question
    4. Define shared procedures
    5. Assignment: Finalize presentation for inter-group meeting
  • Icon for: Janice Jackson

    Janice Jackson

    Facilitator
    March 27, 2017 | 11:33 p.m.

    Suzanne, thank you for sharing this info.  It is comprehensive.  I wish the best to your team in this endeavor.

    Janice

  • Further posting is closed as the event has ended.

Icon for: Suzanne Barbour

SUZANNE BARBOUR

University of Georgia, Florida International University, Clark Atlanta University

An Integrated Approach to Retain Underrepresented Minority Students in STEM Disciplines
1649226

The ultimate goal of this project is to develop and pilot novel interventions to enhance success of underrepresented students in STEM disciplines and ultimately to increase their retention in and pursuit of careers in STEM disciplines. The project partners a Primarly White, Doctoral Institution, Highest Research Activity (University of Georgia) with three Historically Black Colleges and Universities (Clark-Atlanta University, Fort Valley State University, and Savannah State University) and a Hispanic-Serving Institution (Florida International University). Through its initial investigations and conversations, the project team has identified three key questions that will be addressed by this project: (1) Can an academic year “exchange program” be designed to enhance underrepresented students’ cultural competence and thereby academic success in STEM disciplines? (2) Can underrepresented students’ experiences at PWI/R1 and MSI institutions be mined to identify aspects of institutional culture that enhance or limit their success in STEM disciplines? (3) Can underrepresented students’ experiences at PWI/R1 and MSI institutions be harnessed to train STEM educators to value learning-through-diversity and offer more inclusive instruction?