A Multicontextual Model for Broadening Participation in STEM Related DisciplinesReport as inadecuate

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Online Submission, US-China Education Review v8 n3 p323-332 Mar 2011

This paper argues that the pipeline, leading to the production and increase of undergraduate engineering and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) related degrees by underrepresented student populations (which include female and AALANA (African American, Latin American and Native American) students), has become more of a funnel. After five decades of affirmative action-oriented programs and laws, there is still a disconnect at most major research colleges and universities between the number of these students entering into the various STEM related disciplines as freshmen and the total number that successfully complete the baccalaureate STEM degree. Current programs address superficial/peripheral issues related to diversity (i.e., recruitment), but not the underlying sociological and anthropological aspects that lead to real solutions with permanent results (i.e., increased retention and graduation rates along with a more pluralistic campus environment where diversity is respected, celebrated and embraced in the STEM disciplines). Thus, this paper suggests that a multicontextual model that emphasizes the latter will ultimately bridge this disconnect and achieve the more desirable affirmative outcomes that previous affirmative-action-oriented initiatives were originally put in place to accomplish. (Contains 7 figures.)

Descriptors: Graduation Rate, American Indians, Affirmative Action, Minority Groups, Latin Americans, STEM Education, Access to Education, Undergraduate Study, Disproportionate Representation, Females, African Americans, Enrollment Trends, Student Diversity, Student Recruitment, Social Influences, Academic Persistence, Cultural Pluralism, Educational Environment, Socioeconomic Status, Learning Laboratories, Rehabilitation, Robotics, Mentors, Professional Development

Author: Brown, Edward E., Jr.

Source: https://eric.ed.gov/?q=a&ft=on&ff1=dtySince_1992&pg=1969&id=ED519571

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