The Biology Scholars Program (BSP) for undergraduate students has repeatedly demonstrated the retention and persistence of BSP scholars is on par with rates of “lower risk” scholars (Matsui et al., 2003). But an outstanding question regarding this consistent effect remains: Why do these “higher risk” scholars persist and consistently beat the odds? To address this question, the “Gift it Forward” study began in 2014 to collect data from 68 BSP scholars across four time points, to assess the growth, decline or maintenance of student integration into the scientific community and test hypotheses derived from the Tripartite Integration Model of Social Influence (TIMSI) (Estrada et al., 2011; Estrada et al., 2018). Results from a repeated measure analysis of variance (ANOVA) show that in spite of scholars being engaged in many entry-level “weeder” classes, which typically leads to high attrition of “at-risk” scholars, BSP scholars persist in maintaining science efficacy, identity and endorsement of science community values — all measures of integration into the scientific community. Cross-sectional analyses, comparing BSP scholars with non-BSP science students enrolled in entry level biology and chemistry courses, were also conducted. The results show that BSP student integration into the scientific community remains similar to those non-BSP science students with high intentions to pursue a scientific career, and significantly higher than lower intentioned non-BSP science students. At the same time, BSP scholars experience higher frequency of stereotype threat than other non- BSP science students. And, regardless of level of intention to pursue a science career or participation in BSP, all students in the study report similar levels of life satisfaction and stress.
July 30, 2019
Estrada, M., Matsui, J., Eppig, A., & Flores, L. (2019, July 30). A Longitudinal Study of the Biology Scholars Program: Maintaining Student Integration and Intention to Persist in Science Career Pathways: Published in Understanding Interventions. Understanding Interventions. https://www.understandinginterventionsjournal.org/article/9884-a-longitudinal-study-of-the-biology-scholars-program-maintaining-student-integration-and-intention-to-persist-in-science-career-pathways.