Exploring the Role of Student Organizations in the Persistence of Women in STEM Associate Degree Programs

Doctoral Candidate Name: 
Zackary Tyler Hubbard
Educational Leadership

This dissertation explores the impact of student organizations on the persistence of women in STEM programs at the associate degree level. The findings reveal that participation in SkillsUSA provides students with valuable opportunities for hands-on learning, skill development, and career exploration, all of which contribute to the persistence of the participants in their chosen STEM related field. SkillsUSA offers a range of activities, including competitive events, leadership development, and community service projects, that foster collaboration, communication, and problem-solving skills among students (Maldonado & Jaeger, 2021; Threeton & Pellock, 2016). SkillsUSA can serve as a bridge between classroom instruction and real-world application, allowing students to apply their knowledge in authentic settings and gain practical experience in their chosen fields. Key themes that emerged from the data include the importance of mentorship, peer support, and extracurricular student engagement in shaping student’s academic and career trajectories. The participants of this study expressed gratitude for the guidance and encouragement provided by their SkillsUSA advisors and mentors, as well as the importance of the sense of camaraderie they developed with other women who were working to pursue a STEM career.

Defense Date and Time: 
Tuesday, April 30, 2024 - 1:00pm
Defense Location: 
Committee Chair's Name: 
Dr. Ayesha Sadaf
Committee Members: 
Dr. Jae Hoon Lim, Dr. Ryan Miller, and Dr. David Pugalee