The Longitudinal Study of Future STEM Scholars: Major Findings from a Seven-Year Project

Project No.
817537
PI Name
Mark Connolly
Institution
University of WisconsinヨMadison
Target Discipline


IUSE-EHR/TUES/CCLI

Abstract 1

The Longitudinal Study of Future STEM Scholars: Major Findings from a Seven-Year Project

Presentation Type
Poster
Team
Mark Connolly, University of Wisconsin–Madison You-Geon Lee, University of Wisconsin–Madison Julia Nelson Savoy, University of Wisconsin–Madison Lucas Hill, Michigan State University/University of Wisconsin–Madison


Need

Teaching-focused professional development (TD) programs that aim to help doctoral students gain the knowledge, skills, and values needed to teach undergraduates effectively are offered by research universities. There is limited research related to their effects on their participants' preparation as college instructors.

Goals

The Longitudinal Study of Future STEM Scholars (LSFSS) was designed to answer a key question: What are the short- and long-term effects of teaching-focused professional development (TD) programs on doctoral students academic careers?

Approach

Using surveys and interviews, we followed a panel of STEM dissertators (initial N = 3,060) from three research universities as they completed their degrees from 2009 to 2013. Using a mixed methods design, we examined students teaching experiences and TD participation during the doctoral program, their career pathway as much as five years after receiving their doctorates, and the short- and long-term effects of their participation in doctoral TD on their teaching knowledge, skills, and attitudes.

Outcomes

Nearly all doctoral students (94.9%) taught undergraduates during their doctoral programs, serving as teaching assistants, lab assistants, instructors of record, research mentors, and guest lecturers.

Participation in teaching development was commonplace, as most (84.6%) doctoral students engaged in at least one formal activity during their degree program.

TD during the doctoral program has positive, significant effects for all participants, including those who do not take positions in academia after graduating.

Participating in TD programs during the doctoral program had no effect on studentsメ time to degree completion, once all other factors were accounted for.

After receiving the doctorate, STEM PhDs followed career pathways to a variety of positions within and outside of academia.

Slightly less than half of STEM PhDs (44.0%) were in positions with undergraduate teaching responsibilities within five years of receiving their degrees.

Higher levels of TD engagement during the doctoral program were associated with getting a faculty position.

For STEM PhDs who were teaching undergraduates, higher levels of TD engagement during the doctoral program had positive effects on their self-efficacy beliefs and teaching practices after completing their degrees.

Broader Impacts

Key deliverables from this study include peer-reviewed papers; a series of research briefs; and research tools and instruments. We released a comprehensive, summative report of our findings in November, 2015.

Unexpected Challenges

* The study's original title was The Longitudinal Study of Future STEM Faculty. We found, however, that this title led some study participants who were working in higher ed as instructors and researchers to inadvertently disqualify themselves. As a result, we changed the name to The Longitudinal Study of Future STEM Scholars, which modestly boosted survey response rates.

Citations

Connolly, M. R., & Lee, Y.-G. (under review). The effects of doctoral teaching development on early-career STEM scholars' college-teaching efficacy. The Review of Higher Education.
Connolly, M. R. (2011). Helping future faculty 'come out' as teachers. Essays on Teaching Excellence, Vol. 22, No. 6. Retrieved from https://www.podnetwork.org/publications/teachingexcellence/10-11/V22_N6_Connolly.pdf
Connolly, M. R., Lee, Y. -G., Hill, L., & Associates (2015). STEM college teaching: Building confidence through teaching development (LSFSS Brief No. 3). Madison, WI: Wisconsin Center for Education Research, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Connolly, M. R., & Lee, Y.-G. (2015, March). The effects of doctoral teaching development on early-career STEM scholarsメ college-teaching self-efficacy. (WCER Working Paper No. 2015-1). Madison: University of Wisconsin Madison, Wisconsin Center for Education Research.
Hill, L., Connolly, M. R., Savoy, J. N., & Associates (2015). The anatomy of teaching development programs: A taxonomic dissection (LSFSS Brief No.2). Madison, WI: Wisconsin Center for Education Research, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Connolly, M. R., Hill, L., & Associates. (2014, December). The Longitudinal Study of Future STEM Scholars: An overview (LSFSS Brief No. 1). Madison: University of Wisconsin Madison, Wisconsin Center for Education Research.
Connolly, M. R., Lee, Y.-G., & Savoy, J. N. (2015, April). Faculty hiring and tenure by sex and race: New evidence from a national survey. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Chicago, IL.
Benbow, R. J., Lee, Y.-G., & Connolly, M. R. (2014, May). Postsecondary teaching, doctoral training, and 'women's work' in STEM: A mixed methods analysis of gendered experiences in teaching development programs. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Philadelphia, PA.
Connolly, M. R., & Lee, Y.-G. (2014, May). The effects of doctoral teaching development programs on STEM doctoral students college teaching competency. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Philadelphia, PA.
Connolly, M. R., Lee, Y.-G., & Austin, A. E. (2014, May). Influences on STEM doctoral students' participation in teaching development programs. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Philadelphia, PA.
Connolly, M. R., Lee, Y. G., Benbow, R., & Byrd, D. (2013, January). The Longitudinal Study of Future STEM Scholars. Paper presented at the Transforming Undergraduate Education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (TUES) program PI conference, Washington, DC.
Connolly, M. R., & Benbow, R. J. (2012, October). Exploring the role of teaching development activities on faculty/academic career formation. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Association for the Study of Higher Education, Las Vegas, NV.
Connolly, M. R., & Lee, Y. G. (2012, October). Exploring the effects of teaching development programs on early-career STEM scholars' self-efficacy for undergraduate teaching. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Association for the Study of Higher Education, Las Vegas, NV.
Connolly, M. R. (2012, October). Examining the formation of STEM doctoral students as postsecondary teachers. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education, Seattle, WA.
Connolly, M. R., Barger, S. S., & Connery, J. E. (2011, April). Examining the effects of teaching assistantships and future faculty programs on doctoral students' gains in academic competencies. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, LA.
Connolly, M. R. (2011, April). Exploring the impact of teaching-focused professional development on academic careers of STEM PhDs. Paper presented at the Fourth International CETL Conference, Oxford, UK.
Connolly, M. R., Savoy, J. N., & Barger, S. S. (2010, May). Future-faculty professional development programs for STEM doctoral students: An exploratory classification scheme. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Denver, CO.
Barger, S. S., Connolly, M. R., & Savoy, J. N. (2010, May). A model of highly effective teaching-focused doctoral student professional development programs. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Denver, CO.
Connolly, M. R., Savoy, J. N., & Barger, S. S. (2009, November). Effects of future-faculty professional development programs on doctoral students & postdoctoral scholars in science, technology, engineering, and math: Findings from Year 4 of a longitudinal study. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Association for the Study of Higher Education, Vancouver, British Columbia.



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