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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A Close Look at a STEM-Themed Magnet and its Experiential Program on the Occupational Identities, Career Maturity, and Access Provided to Low Socioeconomic Minority Students
by Reyes, Urlette, Ed.D., Loyola Marymount University, 2013, 155; 3600110
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of an experiential program on the occupational identity, access, and career maturity of Black and Latino students from low socioeconomic backgrounds. Data shows these students to be underrepresented in STEM fields. Student interest and access are noted in the literature to be amongst the reasons minorities do not pursue a career in STEM related fields. Jobs within the STEM industry pay considerably more than non-STEM related jobs, access to these jobs can help individuals transform their socioeconomic status. Lack of access and exposure to these fields for low socioeconomic minorities then becomes a social justice issue. A mixed methods approach was applied which included surveys and interviews of junior students currently in an experiential careers program with a STEM emphasis. Composites and subscales were created and checked for internal reliability and consistency. Interview responses were recorded and coded based on theories of occupational identity and emergent themes. Findings suggest that most students within the experiential careers program exhibited high levels of occupational identity. The experiential learning model works well to support continuous learning and the identity development of students from low socioeconomic backgrounds.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Huchting, Karen
Commitee: Gottfried, Michael, Reilly, Elizabeth
School: Loyola Marymount University
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 75/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Science education, Curriculum development, Vocational education
Keywords: Access, Career maturity, Experiential program, Low socioeconomic status, Magnet school, Minorities, Occupational identity, Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)
Publication Number: 3600110
ISBN: 978-1-303-50053-4
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