ADDRESSING DISPARITIES IN STEM DEGREE ATTAINMENT FOR UNDERREPRESENTED MINORITY STUDENTS

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December 2023

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This paper synthesizes insights from two scholarly articles focused on the critical issue of STEM degree attainment among underrepresented minority students. The first scholarly article was a case study titled “Disparity in STEM Degree Attainment for Underrepresented Minority Students,” that explored the overarching challenges faced by one racially minoritized female student while pursuing a STEM degree at a predominantly white institution. Second was an empirical case study titled “Disparity in STEM Degree Attainment for Underrepresented Minority Students: How One Community College is Working to Increase Participation and Persistence for Degree-Seeking Underrepresented Minority Students.” This study provided a detailed examination of the strategies implemented by a community college to address this disparity, along with an overview of the current landscape and potential pathways for improvement. Through a review of documents provided by the college, secondary data from focus group interviews with students, and a factual interview with a faculty member, five themes emerged that may be instrumental in shaping a program’s successful implementation: faculty support, family support, teaching style, learning approach, and inclusivity. The findings aim to inform educators, policymakers, and stakeholders interested in advancing initiatives that promote diversity and success in STEM fields.

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STEM Education

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