A Longitudinal Study of the Effectiveness of a K-12 Engagement Program on Graduate Student Learning Outcomes

Faith Weeks, Ruiyang Gong, Jonathan Harbor


Programs that connect higher and K-12 education provide benefits to K-12 students, teachers, and higher education.  The National Science Foundation (NSF) invested in programs connecting domestic STEM graduate students with K-12 education for over a decade (GK-12), intending that such engagement would help achieve graduate student learning outcomes and would be sustained after NSF funding.  By comparing two cohorts of graduate student participants in a sustained GK-12 we have begun longitudinal assessment of a program as it matures and diversifies by integrating non-STEM and international students. Qualitative analysis of participant journals shows that the sustained GK-12 has continuing impacts on graduate students’ teaching, teamwork, and communication skills, and aids in shaping their future career plans. A new theme in Cohort 2 related to changing perspectives on pedagogy and teaching in faculty responsibilities. We encourage universities seeking to meet expanded graduate student learning outcomes to consider adopting/adapting the GK-12 model.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/ijhe.v4n3p188


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