Institutional data show that a significant number of students at Elizabeth City State University (ECSU)--a public, rural Historically Black University--who identify as STEM (biology, chemistry, pharmaceutical science, computer, and mathematics) majors in the first year graduate with degrees in non-STEM disciplines. While this pattern of switching from STEM to other majors is true across all racial groups, it is much greater for African Americans and other underrepresented minorities...
Black and Latinx students pursuing careers in STEM face obstacles their white peers do not, making them more likely to leave those majors without receiving a degree, UT researchers say. “Individuals that are employed in STEM occupations tend to have relatively high levels of income and social status,” said Catherine Riegle-Crumb, lead author of the study. “There’s reason to believe that racial ethnic minorities, particularly black and Latino students in this country, face obstacles in these fields that are not faced by their white peers.”
Her mentee, a Latina undergraduate student majoring in biology, was seeking opportunities for lab experience, and shared that she was struggling to find the courage to request a letter of recommendation from a course professor. Her reason, Castruita recalls: “I just don’t feel like my professor thinks I deserve it.”It dawned on Castruita that, as a minority in STEM, she, too, could be hamstrung by doubt about how she felt people perceived her.
This digest highlights key statistics drawn from a variety of data sources. Data and figures in this digest are organized into the following topical areas: enrollment, field of degree, employment status, and occupation, including academic careers. Surveys conducted by the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) within the National Science Foundation provided a large portion of the data used in this report. NCSES has a central role in the collection, interpretation, analysis, and dissemination of objective data on the science and engineering enterprise.
The National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) has released its 2019 Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering (WMPD) report, which provides detailed information about participation levels in science and engineering (S&E) education and employment.
Women and students of color are widely underrepresented in the majority of STEM fields. Most discussions take a ‘deficit’ approach to the problem, citing deficits of minority groups as a reason for discrepancy. However a new study looks at how instructional style and perceived professor care influence decisions of students from underrepresented groups to major in STEM.
College administrators have long debated how to attract minority students -- black and Latinx men and women -- to science and technology fields. It turns out these students already have an interest in those fields, at least according to a new study. But black and Latinx students enrolled in STEM programs are either switching majors or dropping out of college at higher rates than their white peers, the study concludes.
A group of higher education, government, nonprofit and business leaders believes that minority-serving colleges and universities are well positioned to serve as a "greater resource" for meeting U.S. STEM workforce needs. What's needed is more "attention" and "investment" to steer this diverse set of students to science, technology, engineering and math fields.
For decades, researchers have tried to boost the very low success rates of first-generation, low-income and underserved minority students in STEM education in college. Yet while more students from these groups have been entering colleges and pursuing STEM majors, the vast majority still are not earning STEM degrees.
Providing early research experiences and creating supportive campus environments are among the promising and intentional strategies outlined in a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine focused on the impact and role of minority-serving institutions (MSIs) in producing graduates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).