(Sept. 19, 2019) -- Guan Saw a researcher at UTSA, an urban serving university, is contributing to the advancement of knowledge for improving Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education and workforce preparation, especially among historically underserved and underrepresented students.
Saw will expand upon his research to understand students’ achievement, motivations and participation in STEM with support from a $350,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). His research was initially seeded with an internal GREAT award from the Office of Research, Economic Development, and Knowledge Enterprise back in 2018.
The grant will support Saw’s research project to develop new survey scales to measure STEM social capital, or social networks and resources, among students and parents that can support and promote positive student outcomes in STEM.
Examples of social capital include informational support from STEM teachers and connections with adults working in STEM fields. These social support networks and resources aid students learning and navigating higher education and the workforce in STEM.
“Across the United States and the world, an increasing number of occupations require high levels of proficiency in STEM, creating a pressing need to attract and retain young students from a variety of backgrounds in STEM fields,” said Saw, an assistant professor of educational psychology in the UTSA College of Education and Human Development (COEHD).
Saw said these types of survey scales for measuring and analyzing STEM social capital are currently not available, but are needed as the concept is increasingly being used by researchers and practitioners in STEM education.
Researchers and educators can use them to understand, monitor and enhance STEM social capital of students especially underrepresented students such as girls, racial/ethnic minorities and students from low socioeconomic status.
Saw said he will use a mixed methods research design and will collaborate with the UTSA Prefreshman Engineering Program (PREP) to develop these STEM social capital scales. PREP is a summer enrichment program that helps prepare middle and high school students interested in STEM for advanced studies and careers in those fields.
“This research project expands the use of social capital theories and measures for studying and understanding the causes, patterns, trends and consequences of social capital and has implications for designing effective interventions aimed at increasing STEM participation and diversity,” explained Saw.
Graduate students with interests and training in quantitative, qualitative or mixed methods research designs will help Saw with this project. The graduate students will gain first-hand research training and experience of interview techniques, instrument development, quantitative and qualitative data analysis and academic writing.
As a first-generation faculty member, Saw’s goal is to advance knowledge and inform policymakers and educators on the best practices for preparing underrepresented students for careers in STEM-related fields.
Last year, he was the lead author of a national study on the disparities and changes in career aspirations in STEM professions among high school students at the intersection of gender, race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status.
Saw and his coauthors analyzed the nationally representative High School Longitudinal Study of 2009-2016, conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics, and found that nationally only about 11.4% of students were interested in pursuing a STEM career upon entering high school and the percentage dropped to 10% percent after those students spent three years in high school. The declining rates of interest in STEM careers were observed across all gender, racial/ethnic and socioeconomic groups, except for male students.
The study also indicates that traditionally underrepresented groups including women, Blacks, Hispanics and students of low socioeconomic status were not only less likely to show but also less likely to maintain and develop an interest in STEM careers during high school.
Learn more about Guan Saw.
Learn more about UTSA College of Education and Human Development.
Celebrate UTSA’s 50th Anniversary and share social media posts about the 50th using the hashtag #UTSA50.
UTSA Main Campus will serve as a designated polling station during the early voting period, today through October 30, and on Election Day, November 3.H-E-B Student Union Ballroom (HSU 1.104)
The First Generation and Transfer Student Center (FGTSC), Transfer and Transition Student Success Services (T2S3), and Alamo Runners invite you to join the virtual fun as we celebrate National Transfer Student Week. UTSA is enriched by transfer students who bring their diverse experiences, backgrounds, and assets to our campus. National Transfer Student Week seeks to celebrate, empower, and support transfer students with events and workshops specifically designed for transfers.Virtual Event
Join Student Health Services as we discuss Intellectual Wellbeing with TRC - Academic Success Coaching.Virtual Event
Are you missing our Roost Tournaments? We will be having our UFC 3 tournament and our tournaments are now back to Wednesdays! Sign up and show us your skills. See if you have what it takes to be our champion.Virtual Event
Dr. Mo. Jamshidi is an Endowed chaired professor at the University of Texas-San Antonio. He is a Persian Native, born in Shiraz, Iran in 1944. He was an advisor to NASA for 10 years (including with the first MARS Mission and seven years with NASA Headquarters (Washington, DC), among other organizations. He has over 800 technical publications including 74 books in English and 5 foreign languages. For the past 20 years, he has been collecting data on Persian Scientists and Poets from 1000 BC to 2021 AD. This presentation will be about the book written by Dr. Jamshidi that collects information on Persian scientists and poets.Virtual Event
Join this informative, interactive webinar with practical tips on how to plan your charitable giving now and for the future. Michael Perkins, member of the UTSA Alumni Association and the UTSA College of Business Accounting Advisory Board, is no stranger to gift planning. As managing partner and CEO of Slattery Perkins Ramirez P.C. (“SPR”) his primary areas of focus include counseling business owners, executives, and other high net worth individuals on personal financial issues, including estate planning, wealth transfer, and income tax planning techniques. Michael also practices philanthropy himself – establishing an endowed scholarship at UTSA as well as supporting numerous charitable causes throughout San Antonio.Virtual Event
UTSA Main Campus is a voting poll for Election Day on November 3.H-E-B Student Union Ballroom (HSU 1.104
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.
UTSA is a proud Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) as designated by the U.S. Department of Education.
The University of Texas at San Antonio, a Hispanic Serving Institution situated in a global city that has been a crossroads of peoples and cultures for centuries, values diversity and inclusion in all aspects of university life. As an institution expressly founded to advance the education of Mexican Americans and other underserved communities, our university is committed to ending generations of discrimination and inequity. UTSA, a premier public research university, fosters academic excellence through a community of dialogue, discovery and innovation that embraces the uniqueness of each voice.