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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:University of Memphis
  • Chrysanthe Preza
  • (901) 678-4369
  • Stephanie S Ivey
  • Craig O Stewart
Award Date:08/02/2021
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 299,998
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 299,998
  • FY 2021=$299,998
Start Date:10/01/2021
End Date:09/30/2024
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.076
Primary Program Source:040106 NSF Education & Human Resource
Award Title or Description:Understanding the Role of Undergraduate Research and Mentoring in the Self-Efficacy, Identity, and Success of Engineering Undergraduate Students
Federal Award ID Number:2120819
DUNS ID:055688857
Parent DUNS ID:878135631
Program Officer:
  • Bonnie Green
  • (703) 292-4386

Awardee Location

Street:Administration 315
Awardee Cong. District:09

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:The University of Memphis
Street:206 Engineering Science Bldg.
Cong. District:09

Abstract at Time of Award

This project aims to serve the national interest by improving academic success and broadening participation for engineering students at the University of Memphis. It has been shown that engineering identity and self-efficacy play a role in student retention and graduation rates. This study will examine the impact of mentoring and undergraduate research on developing students’ engineering identity and self-efficacy. An important aspect of the project is understanding how the proposed interventions in research and mentoring can aid college students who may not see themselves as “fitting in” with engineering as a means of broadening participation. This project will increase the use of undergraduate research as part of the curriculum, make research experiences accessible for all students, and promote broadening participation in engineering. The project team will adapt, implement, research, and evaluate a targeted active learning focused undergraduate research experience for which students will receive course credits towards their baccalaureate engineering degree. Using peer and faculty mentoring, students who begin research as early as their first year in college will continue in research and mentoring throughout their time as undergraduate students. It is expected that these interventions will help improve academic success and persistence as well as broaden participation in the engineering workforce. The project goals are to improve academic success, retention, diversity, and inclusion in engineering at the University of Memphis by integrating educational interventions such as active learning through project-based research opportunities and peer mentoring that involves networking and role modeling. The educational interventions are designed to foster the development of engineering identity and self-efficacy in undergraduate students. Project activities that aim to foster an inclusive culture in engineering include research training units, innovation seminars, and mentoring. The successful implementation of this project is expected to increase awareness and interest in engineering majors and provide a new approach to recruiting students to engineering. Important outcomes of the project will be: 1) improving retention of all students in engineering; 2) making engineering majors at the University of Memphis more accessible to undecided freshmen, particularly for the purpose of broadening participation; and 3) supporting engineering identity growth, self-efficacy, and a sense of belonging for undergraduate engineering students. Though other projects have investigated some of the components addressed in this project, few have looked at them collectively, as this project will do. As such, this project will generate new knowledge in how to recruit, retain, and broaden participation in undergraduate engineering. In addition, Memphis area community college students and high school students will engage in research and mentoring through a one-day summer summit. The adapted undergraduate research and mentoring model will be disseminated through an established consortium and to other interested institutions. Project results will be disseminated through conference presentations and journal publications as well as through a dedicated website. The NSF IUSE: EHR Program supports research and development projects to improve the effectiveness of STEM education for all students. Through the Engaged Student Learning track, the program supports the creation, exploration, and implementation of promising practices and tools. 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.

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