Seeing yourself as a scientist: increasing science identity using professional development modules designed for undergraduate students


As educators, we should not assume that students are progressing toward intended STEM careers simply because they have persisted and received a STEM degree. In addition to learning biology content and scien- tific skills, students need guidance in making optimal career choices. In this study, we present seven career development modules designed specifically to motivate students to consider their successes as scientists and to consider applying their biological knowledge and scientific skills to a range of biology careers. These mod- ules highlight the value and the utility of a biology degree and are, therefore, designed to increase students’ self-confidence as well as their science and biology identities. The career development modules presented here are easy to implement and, in our experience, encourage engagement and class discussions. Our analyses confirm that these modules collectively increase student science and biology identities, two predictors for entry into STEM careers.

Journal of Microbiology & Education