Faculty contributions to undergraduate STEMM student mental health : a qualitative case study approach




Ortega, Andrea, Ed. D.

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Mental health concerns on U.S. college campuses have garnered much attention in recent years (Lipson et al., 2019; Oswalt et al., 2018; Watkins et al., 2012). The prevalence of mental illness among college student populations contrasts with research reporting that many students do not seek treatment (Ebert et al., 2019; Nestor et al., 2016). The problem for this study is that current college mental health treatment leaves a large number of the population undertreated or not treated. In particular, there is limited research on faculty involvement in the mental health of the undergraduate STEMM (science, technology, engineering mathematics, and medicine) population. The purpose of this study was to explore how faculty view their role concerning undergraduate STEMM student mental health. In addition, it intended to understand how faculty members make sense of their roles as they pertain to student mental health. These methods included a document review, a demographic questionnaire, semi-structured interviews, and field notes. Using Ray’s (2019) theory of racialized organizations and Bronfenbrenner’s (1979) ecological systems theory, the study examined faculty contributions to the mental health of undergraduate STEMM students.


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