COSAM News Articles 2015 April Counseling Interns present at EERA Conference

Counseling Interns present at EERA Conference

Published: 04/10/2015

Kristine Ramsay and Dedrick Ford, graduate students interning in the COSAM Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, presented at the Eastern Educational Research Association Conference taking place February 25-28, 2015 in Sarasota, FL. The interns presented a session on “Sustained Dialogue: The Importance of an Undergraduate Survival Seminar Series.” The authors of the session were Dr. Bianca Evans, Kristine Ramsay, and Dedrick Ford. The research on non-cognitive factors will continue thru the Spring 2015 semester.

Abstract: Many college interventions targeting students of color in STEM fields focus on cognitive abilities such as content remediation to improve academic performance when studying student retention. Astin (1993) noted that an essential problem in understanding retention is choosing the correct input, environmental, and outcome variables. Researchers (Sedlacek, 1996; Tracey & Sedlacek, 1985) have agreed and shown that cognitive variables are not the only variables to play a factor in student inputs and outcomes. Noncognitive variables are equally, if not more, important in shaping academic performance in college retention among students of color (Ancis & Sedlacek, 1997; Sedlacek, 2003).

The Undergraduate Survival Seminar Series was developed at a large, land-grant Predominately White Institution for academic persistence and motivation of students of color in STEM majors focusing on noncognitive variables. The term noncognitive is used here to refer to variables relating to adjustment, motivation, and student perceptions (Dyce, Albold, & Long, 2013). By reviewing the higher education literature, five noncognitive variables (e.g., positive self-concept, realistic self-appraisal, goal setting, developing a support system, and nontraditional knowledge) were developed into a curriculum model for a seminar series.

The purpose of the presentation is to provide a theoretical and practical description of the seminar series as a demonstration of an educational persistence intervention. The authors describe seminar components, seminar topics, and preliminary results of the Undergraduate Survival Seminar Series. The authors suggest this series should be provided as a supplement to other intervention programs to enhance noncognitive skills of students of color who are seeking to navigate a path to a degree in a STEM field.

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