WAESO/LSAMP at ASU Context Diversity Study
The Western Alliance to Expand Student Opportunities/Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (WAESO/LSAMP) Program at Arizona State University (ASU), funded by the National Science Foundation, works with historically and currently underrepresented minority (URM) students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to encourage their participation in STEM research, while preparing them for graduate school. In a recent evaluation of the WAESO/LSAMP program at Arizona State University (ASU), we concluded that “a Multicontextual theoretical framework (Ibarra, 2001) was an important element in attracting and developing URM students to pursue STEM-related research in graduate school. Evaluation interviews suggested that elements of a Context Diversity model were evident in the occasions when the WAESO program and mentors changed the context of academic culture in teaching undergraduate students to become scientists” (Ibarra & Beals, 2015, pg. 40). Further analysis reveals that Multicontextual academic environments not only attract URM and women students to STEM fields, but also helps them thrive academically as they progress towards advanced degrees (Beals & Ibarra, 2017).
The Study of Context Diversity in Research and Teaching in the WAESO/LSAMP at ASU joined the Institute for Social Research in 2016. Our objectives are: (1) to introduce the principles of Multicontext theory and the dynamics of CD to WAESO faculty and students, offering means to incorporate CD into their research programs and teaching, and (2) to determine if this model will further improve the success of student participants in the WAESO program. In this project, we propose to study the CD approach of the current LSAMP program in a baseline study (year 1), followed by an intervention that includes faculty/mentor development training that focuses on building a Multicontextual research environment and student training that builds an awareness of Multicontextual issues. We propose to study the impact of this training on future student success in completion of research tasks, classroom abilities, and student attitude toward scientific studies.
Our research includes mixed-method data collection and analysis techniques, including site visits across ASU’s main, west, and polytechnic campuses, providing context diversity workshops to the faculty staff and students in the WAESO program, in-depth interviewing of program participants, and in-person, online, and telephone surveys of program participants. For more information, contact Roberto Ibarra at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gary S. Weissmann, Roberto A. Ibarra, Michael Howland-Davis & Machienvee V. Lammey (2019) The multicontext path to redefining how we access and think about diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM, Journal of Geoscience Education, DOI: 10.1080/10899995.2019.1620527
Roberto Ibarra and Gary Weissmann, Context Diversity: A New Paradigm for Equity and Inclusion in Higher Education. Workshop.