Working With A Scientist Program Summative Evaluation Report
This summative evaluation report focuses on the impact that the Working with a Scientist Program at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) had on its student participants. Student participants were recruited from regional high schools that are categorized as Title I schools, due to the large population of low income students that they serve. The participants engaged in mentored research activities a UTEP every other Saturday during the spring semester and on weekdays during the summer. Their mentors were professional scientists from different STEM disciplines, such as Chemistry, Immunology, Geology, Engineering, etc. During their program experience the students also engaged in cogenarative dialogues (cogens) with their team members and mentors; cogens are interactive discussions among individuals with shared goals that allow for all voices to be heard in a respectful and reflective environment. Cogens were expected to positively impact the students beyond the impact of the research experience alone.
The evaluation components included in this report focus on assessing the different gains that the participants made during their research experience, and also the students’ perceptions of the ‘self’, ‘others’ and the ‘group’ during group discussions, or cogens at two time periods: soon after the beginning of program participation and at the end. In addition, high school and academic performance of students was analyzed to see whether program participation effects carried over to their academic life. Therefore, measures used included: 1) participant survey modeled after the Undergraduate Research Student Self-Assessment (URSSA), 2) participant survey that focused on program fellows’ perceptions of their group discussions, and 3) academic records.
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