(478b) Graduate Student's Perceptions of Academia
AIChE Annual Meeting
Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - 3:33pm to 3:51pm
The student/ advisor relationship is a primary source of the first hand knowledge doctoral students acquire about academic careers. Of particular interest is the role of advisors in the decision making process of underrepresented minority students. A study to analyze the advisor's influence is being conducted on students from Maryland's Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) which is comprised of three schools: University of Maryland?College Park, University of Maryland?Baltimore County and the University of Maryland?Baltimore.
A 31-item Likert response survey was developed to assess student attitudes towards doctoral advisors, AGEP mentors and careers in academia. The survey was administered at two AGEP events and resulted in 102 respondents, 44 of which were from STEM majors. The survey results indicate significant Spearman's rho correlations between positive attitudes towards academic careers and plans to pursue an academic career. The results did not show significant correlations between doctoral advisors or AGEP mentors and positive attitudes towards academia. This paper discusses the survey construction, results and plans for future work.