Recruitment and retention of underrepresented students in stem
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Recruitment and Retention of Underrepresented Students in STEM. Javier A. Kypuros, Ph.D. College of Engineering and Computer Science The University of Texas-Pan American. Factors that Impact the Recruitment and Retention of Minorities (Crisp et al. 2009). Demographic variables:

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Recruitment and Retention of Underrepresented Students in STEM

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Recruitment and Retention of Underrepresented Students in STEM

Javier A. Kypuros, Ph.D.

College of Engineering and Computer Science

The University of Texas-Pan American


Factors that Impact the Recruitment and Retention of Minorities (Crisp et al. 2009)

  • Demographic variables:

    • Gender is one of the most powerful/robust predictors

    • Language

    • Socioeconomic

  • Pre-college factors:

    • Academic experiences in math and science prior to high school

    • College preparatory courses; participation in and access to STEM college-prep courses

  • Environmental factors:

    • Financial aid

    • Incurred debt

  • College variables:

    • Math and Science placement into remedial or developmental courses lengthens time-to-graduation

    • Lack of engagement in development or remedial courses

    • Presence or lack thereof of role models amongst faculty


Why do minority student drop out of STEM?

  • Insufficient financial resources (Tinto 1997, Mortenson 1997)

  • Feelings of isolation (Brown 1994, Thomas et al. 1991, McBay 1992)

  • Academic under-preparedness (Betz 1997)

  • A need to see the relevance of studies to the real world (Collea1990)


Strategies for Recruiting/Preparing Minorities to STEM

  • Partnerships with K-12 (e.g. TexPREP, HESTEC)

    • Science and engineering camps

    • Coordination with college counselors

    • Coordination with pre-college programs

  • For Hispanics, STEM focused Dual Language Enrichment Programs

  • Supporting/promoting rigorous college prep curriculum in Science and Mathematics

  • Financial aid literacy


Strategies for Retaining Minorities in STEM

  • Accelerating Math and Science preparation through bridge programs (Math is especially critical in Engineering)

  • More effective Math and Science placement

  • The usual subjects (i.e. bridge programs, mentoring, research experiences, career counseling and awareness, tutoring, etc.) but culturally relevant and aware

  • Language may be an untapped opportunity amongst Hispanic students


Discussion Questions

  • How do race, ethnicity, and gender influence or modify interventions and success strategies?

  • Are there unique untapped opportunities that might have transformative influence on the success of certain populations?

  • Are the strategies you currently employ culturally relevant? If not, how might you modify them?


Short Literature Review

  • Crisp, G., Nora, A., and Taggart, A. (2009). Student Characteristics, Pre-College, College, and Environmental Factors as Predictors of Majoring in and Earning a STEM Degree: An Analysis of Students Attending a Hispanic Serving Institution. American Educational Research Journal, 46(4), pp. 924-942.

  • Tinto, V. (1997). Classrooms as Communities: Exploring the Educational Character of Persistence. Journal of Higher Education, 68(6): pp. 599-623.

  • Mortenson, T. (1997). The benefits of a college education. Postsecond. Edu. Opport., pp. 55-66.

  • Brown, S.V., (1994). Under-represented minority women in science and engineering education. Princeton, NJ: Educational Testing Service.

  • Thomas, Clewell, and Pearson. (1991). Case Study of Major Doctoral Producing Institutions in Recruiting, Enrolling and Retaining Black and Hispanic Graduate Students. American Educational Research Association Meeting. Chicago, IL.

  • McBay, S.M. (1992). The Condition of African American Education: Changes and Challenges. The State of Black America, B.Tidwell, ed. 141-156. NY: Nat’l Urban League.

  • Betz, N. E. (1997). What stops women and minorities from choosing and completing majors in science and engineering. In D. Johnson (ed.) Minorities and girls in school: Effects on achievement and performance. Series on Leaders in Psychology.

  • Collea, F. P. (1990). Increasing minorities in science and engineering. Journal of College Science Teaching, 20(1):31-34.

  • Lisa, T. (2007). Effective Strategies to Increase Diversity in STEM Fields: A Review of the Research Literature. The Journal of Negro Education, 76(4), pp. 555-581.


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