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Development and Implementation of an Undergraduate STEM Peer Coaching Program

Journal of College Science Teaching—Fall 2023 (Volume 52, Issue 7)

By Laura E. Swann, Jonathan L. Hall, Katie Vaccaro-Garska, Samantha R. Seals, and Pamela P. Benz

Undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) experiences have academic, psychological, and social challenges that require additional support to navigate. This article explains the implementation of a STEM peer coaching program designed to provide such support. Through this program, undergraduate STEM students served as STEM peer coaches. Coaches facilitated one-on-one conversations focused on individualized support and skill development. Using carefully constructed planning and reflecting conversations, STEM peer coaches helped students clarify their goals and create plans for success. STEM peer coaches also served as accountability partners. Anecdotal evidence from students who participated in the program shows that STEM peer coaches provided meaningful academic support. The STEM peer coaching program is a model for how peer-led, individualized conversations can be a catalyst for helping students through challenges related to STEM. The article discusses key strategies for developing and implementing a STEM peer coaching program.
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