The power of social communities in education



Engineering is tough that's just a flat-out mark it's tough and it's typically something that people are used to doing in some form of isolation the problem with that is that you can't be successful with just yourself I struggled as an undergrad my saving grace was I was part of a social community I think if I hadn't have been a part of that from the start and found my my people to study with and hang out with and people who were struggling like me I don't know if I would have made it Mondesi is now an Iowa professor at the University of Michigan and studying the MSM program a social community that provides students from diverse backgrounds with a pathway into STEM fields programs like this help incoming college students transition with personalized courses advising and activities that build community from within with M stem it's about understanding systems and how certain systems function and how people interact in those systems so looking at how students who are put into a formal program interact with each other what do administrators and coordinators put in place to encourage interactions how does that affect students just reporting on male and female there won't be any real differences in race or citizenship Ron DISA and her research group are gathering data from participants using both surveys and interviews integrating them to learn how certain interactions lead to the formation of certain values we have pulled some information from the survey data to help inform the interview aspect so now we're looking at both to see okay what's going on what does students say and what happens between the members is that you start to develop social support for each other by engaging in these activities and then from their social support they learn how to build resiliency they learn how to participate in engage in communities of practice and they also are building up their social capital you're talking about families of functions then next thing to do is take the derivative so you take the derivative it's important especially for your ends and people of color because this is need to I think see someone who is pursuing what you want to pursue but is struggling in the same sense you are and that's very important in order to be able to persist in engineering and go on and get the engineering degree because you can have your camaraderie you can have evidence that other people are having the same issue or struggling just as much and then what's very important is that they help each other for me it was just important to know that I wasn't the only person struggling to come into the classroom and sit and work with people who had had the same experiences that I had and for me it's just amazing I had the opportunity to assess something I've wondered about for years to really dissect it and figure out home how does that work why does it work how can we help others it's almost in a way kind of a paid-for kind of aspect so it can continue to grow like it [Applause] you




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