Amira Ibrahim, Phd, Psychology
There is currently a disparity in the number of women and underrepresented minority (URM) students, especially Hispanics, obtaining degrees in STEM. Women and URM students in STEM may perceive the college environment as unwelcoming, posing major threats to their sense of belonging. In addition, Undergraduates pursuing studies in STEM need to pass several lower-division, gateway courses, math courses often being key. Math anxiety (MA) plays a role in STEM student success, with individuals with high MA performing worse than those with low MA. Currently, it is unclear whether a students’ sense of social belonging (SB) is related to their level of MA. We aim to determine 1) if there is a relationship between class participation and SB, and 2) whether there is a relationship between a students’ SB and MA level in these courses. Participants will be recruited from lower-division, gateway STEM courses at California State University, Channel Islands (a HSI). Participants will complete a baseline survey at the beginning of the Spring 2021 term with self-report measures of SB and MA through their course’s Learning Management System. At the end of the term, final grades will be provided by instructors and a final measure of MA and SB will be collected. We hypothesize that URM STEM students with class participation will have higher levels of SB than those with lower SB. We also predict a negative association between students’ SB and MA levels.