A Pilot Study Measuring Student Attitude Changes Resulting From Participating in Workforce Development Training Program in Green and Technology Practices
Many agree that one of the main challenges to increasing the number of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) career seeking individuals and increasing the retention of students preparing for this fields, is the lack of information and therefore low student motivation toward these careers. Students may also hold misconceptions regarding the nature of technological careers and this may also dissuade them from participating. Exposing students to green energy and sustainability topics as a STEM context may be a motivating approach and when coupled with clarifying career information, it may sharpen much of the generally ambiguous knowledge on these topics. The understanding students gain might then change their attitudes regarding STEM careers and lead to pursuit of academic studies leading to these careers. The Re-Energize program is a multi-university intervention program aimed at increasing and retaining the number of historically underserved and underrepresented minority students seeking STEM degrees at four community colleges. Re-Energize offers cutting-edge workforce development training programs in green technology and practices (GTP). The GTP training programs are introduced into existing college science and engineering courses as a means to broaden the scope of students’ exposure to these topics. The impact on students’ attitudes towards topics in sustainability, green energy, career interests and their desire to pursue a higher education is analyzed using pre and post survey data. This is a preliminary phase of the project, however, findings indicate that students’ attitude and concerns are influenced positively and follow-up data collection will confirm what academic and career choices these students make.
Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching