Cultivating Community College Pathways to STEM Leadership: Examining the Relationships Between Gender, Upward Transfer, and Students’ Computing Leadership Identity

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Upward transfer pathways are an important mechanism for advancing gender equity in STEM. Yet, little is known about how students access lucrative STEM careers and leadership positions via community colleges. This study explores the factors that may promote computing leadership identity among upward transfer students, focusing specifically on gender differences in upward transfer computing student experiences. Methods: This study relies on longitudinal survey data from N = 1,955 computing majors across 15 universities in the United States. I used linear regression with tests of two- and three-way interaction terms to examine how factors associated with computing leadership identity might differ by upward transfer student status and gender. Results: Findings highlight how faculty mentorship, peer support, and involvement in student groups might shape leadership identity among all computing students. Other findings show that time spent working for pay is positively associated with leadership identity for non-transfers but negatively associated with leadership identity for upward transfer students. Significant three-way interactions show that parent career and sense of belonging in computing are uniquely associated with leadership identity for upward transfer women. Conclusions: This study identifies contextual factors that are uniquely associated with computing leadership identity for upward transfer students, while identifying ways in which institutions can increase upward transfer students’ access to college experiences that are positively associated with leadership identity for all students. Future directions for research are discussed, including opportunities for researchers to test the impact of specific interventions to promote leadership identity, aspirations, and behaviors for upward transfer students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-291
Number of pages23
JournalCommunity College Review
Volume50
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2022

Keywords

  • college student leadership
  • computing
  • gender in STEM
  • upward transfer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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