Students from historically marginalized racial and ethnic (HMRE) groups often face challenges within the university environment due to implicit biases, microaggressions, and systemic racism. To help counteract these challenges, the Minority Student Mentoring Group (MSMG) at Towson University was launched in 2016 to provide mentoring, support, and a sense of community for students from HMRE groups who are enrolled in speech-language pathology and audiology programs. Rapid growth of the program and anecdotal evidence suggested MSMG participation was impactful; as a result, this study was designed to examine program outcomes more formally using a mixed-methods approach. Eleven participants completed an on-line survey and six completed a follow-up virtual interview. Most participants reported the MSMG had a positive impact on their academic experience and about a third indicated their participation influenced choice of graduate program and career path. Thematic analysis yielded four themes: Belonging and Connections, Representation, Empowerment, and Paying it Forward. Via these themes, it was clear this type of group can provide an opportunity for students from HMRE groups to find community and belonging within a Communication Sciences and Disorders program. In addition, the group provided opportunities for students to develop social capital through information, relationships, and networks formed. A description of the timeline and programming for the MSMG is provided as a possible model for Communication Sciences and Disorders program directors, chairpersons, and deans to consider as part of their holistic efforts to create supportive environments for students.
Emanuel, D. C.
The Minority Student Mentoring Group (MSMG) for CSD Students: Perspectives, Goals, and Outcomes Six Years After Inception.
Teaching and Learning in Communication Sciences & Disorders, 8(1).