ERIC Number: EJ917016
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Reference Count: 20
Lessons from High-Achieving Students of Color in Physics
Fries-Britt, Sharon L.; Younger, Toyia K.; Hall, Wendell D.
New Directions for Institutional Research, n148 p75-83 Win 2010
Despite changing demographics in the United States, students of color have remained woefully underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. While African American, Native Americans, and Latinos make up over 30 percent of the undergraduate student population in this country, less than 12 percent of baccalaureate degrees in STEM fields are awarded to persons from these racial groups. Despite an increase in women and underrepresented minorities pursuing graduate degrees in STEM fields, their participation is still significantly less than that of their White counterparts, and they often have higher rates of attrition. This suggests that significant work must be done to increase and sustain the interest of underrepresented students in STEM. Equally important is the need to understand the experiences of undergraduates who are currently enrolled in STEM fields. In this chapter, the authors describe a five-year study with the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP) and the National Society of Hispanic Physicists (NSHP). The purpose of their research was to understand the academic, social, and racial experiences of students of color who were succeeding in physics. The authors defined success based on criteria established by NSBP and NSHP for student participation in their national conferences. Those selected for the conferences were required to be in good academic standing and persisting toward degree completion as verified by their department chairs and academic advisors. In addition, each student was required to complete a form listing the physics-related courses in which she or he was enrolled at that time.
Descriptors: Undergraduate Students, Race, American Indians, Student Participation, Physics, Academic Advising, Minority Groups, Department Heads, Science Instruction, Science Achievement, STEM Education, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, College Graduates, Females, Whites, Equal Education, Longitudinal Studies, Racial Bias, Social Bias, Access to Education, Success, Interviews, Focus Groups, Peer Influence
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A