Experimental Design Details
The selection of our study subjects, mentors, randomization, and data collection are conducted as follows:
Our study subjects are all the grade 10 students (equivalent to lower secondary school seniors) who satisfy the following criteria:
(i) The student should go to one of the 76 lower secondary schools that are in proximity STEM colleges. We consider proximity as less than 3-hour drive distance, which is based on Google Map.
(ii) The student should complete the baseline survey.
We recruit about 200 mentors who satisfy the following criteria:
(i) The mentor should be currently pursuing a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in STEM subjects in six colleges and schools, including College of Natural Resources, College of Science and Technology, Gyelpzhing College of Information Technology, Jigme Namgyel Engineering College, Sherubtse College, and Royal Thimphu College.
(ii) The mentors should have secured a minimum of 65% in overall academic performance in grade 12.
(i) We randomly choose 36 schools from the list of 76 lower secondary schools, stratified by geographic area, school size (total students), and public/private status.
(ii) From these schools, we randomly choose 1000 students (treatment students). The number of treatment students chosen from each school depends on mentor availability in the same geographic area.
(iii) Treatment students are randomly paired with mentors in the same geographic area. Each mentor has at most five mentees.
(i) The baseline survey: We collect the information about students (e.g., demographics and other baseline information including academic performance, preferences about STEM-related education and future employment, as well as subjective assessment on their knowledge about different aspects of upper secondary education by academic stream) in the online survey. It is a census survey, although it is expected that some students will not take the survey.
(ii) The endline survey: We collect similar information about students in the online survey, with additional questions on knowledge about entry requirements and application process to Science stream in upper secondary school. It is a census survey, although it is expected that some students will not take the survey.
(iii) The mentor report form: We collect information on the mentoring progress on identifying career issues, understanding the importance of STEM education, understanding the courses/study options, understanding the life of a typical student, understanding the career path of graduates, and the entry requirements and admission process to Science stream.
(iv) Administrative data on test score in the lower secondary school graduation exam “Bhutan Secondary Education Certificate” (BSEC) will be shared by the Ministry of Education in Spring 2022.
(v) We will collect the data about their actual educational choices from the Ministry of Education in Summer-Fall 2022.