Predicting undergraduate career goal change in a research-intensive community Academic Article uri icon


  • AbstractProviding infrastructure to support studentled research teams at researchextensive universities has been an effective way of dramatically increasing the number of research opportunities available to all undergraduates. While cocurricular, teambased programs are able to scaleup and sustain undergraduate research, their ability to promote participation in the STEM research workforce has not been firmly established. The present work has therefore aimed to characterize the types of undergraduates who get involved in these programs and the team structures that predict their decision to pursue a researchoriented career. Surveys were used to collect data on undergraduates' vocational identity beliefs, team leader qualities, and the time spent doing research with a facultymentor and other team members. Cluster analysis of survey data (n=407) revealed that those with relatively high levels of career exploration formed a majority of participants in this community. Logistic modeling predicted that these undergraduates are more likely than others to pursue research careers after a semester of teambased research. Crossdiscipline interactions between team members and team leaders also predicted career goal change. For Hispanic students, participating in studentled, facultymentored research teams had mixed effects. When spending 4h/week or more working with others team members, Hispanic team members were found to be more likely than nonHispanic students to pursue a research career. Hispanic students, however, were less likely to report career goal changes when working with faculty mentors who were mainly nonHispanic. Implications for designing undergraduate research programs to amplify and diversify the STEM workforce are also discussed.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 2

author list (cited authors)

  • Stiles, T. W., Adams, T. H., Yalvac, B., & Quick, C. M.

citation count

  • 0

publication date

  • September 2022