Encouraging Underrepresented Minority Student Participation in the STEM Pipeline Through Authentic STEM Learning Experiences

dc.contributor.advisorKent, Shawn C.
dc.contributor.committeeMemberHawkins, Jacqueline
dc.contributor.committeeMemberButcher, Keith A.
dc.contributor.committeeMemberCrear, Shelah
dc.creatorVarnado, Jakarda Wiltz
dc.creator.orcid0000-0002-2101-8635
dc.date.accessioned2021-10-06T19:53:11Z
dc.date.available2021-10-06T19:53:11Z
dc.date.createdMay 2021
dc.date.issued2021-05
dc.date.submittedMay 2021
dc.date.updated2021-10-06T19:53:13Z
dc.description.abstractBackground: Although African Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans collectively make up approximately 31% of the U.S. population, they receive 21% of science and engineering bachelor’s degrees and have gained employment in 11% of the science and engineering occupations. Researchers identify academic preparation, science self-efficacy, and a sense of belonging as major factors affecting participation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs among underrepresented minority (URM) groups at the collegiate level. However, K–12 institutions have an obligation to address the inequity also. To address the inequity that exists in STEM participation at the high school level, the Texas Education Agency created inclusive Texas STEM (T-STEM) high schools as opportunity structures for URM students. Purpose: The following questions were investigated: (1) How do the demographic profiles of T-STEM high schools compare with the demographic profiles of high schools throughout Texas? (2) To what extent does attending a T-STEM high school impact achievement of college readiness indicators among African American and Hispanic students when compared with achievement of college readiness indicators among White and Asian students? (3) To what extent does attending a T-STEM high school impact participation and performance in advanced STEM courses among African American and Hispanic students when compared with participation and performance in advanced STEM courses among White and Asian students? Methods: The study used a convenience sample of 49 T-STEM high schools with independently reported postsecondary readiness data on the Texas Academic Performance Reports for the 2018–2019 school year. Performance on college entrance examinations, such as the SAT or ACT, and the Texas Success Initiative Assessment and attainment of college credit were used to analyze overall college readiness and math achievement. Participation and performance in math and science Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate (AP/IB) and dual credit courses were used to evaluate interest in advanced STEM courses. Data were analyzed at the campus level and disaggregated for African American, Hispanic, White, and Asian populations. SPSS was used to analyze group differences using independent sample t tests; descriptive statistics were utilized to describe sample demographics and general performance across outcomes. Results: T-STEM schools are graduating higher populations of economically disadvantaged, at-risk, and URM students than Texas high schools overall. The major area of concern that still exists at T-STEM schools is academic preparation. Significant differences exist for URM student groups in the areas of SAT/ACT college readiness benchmark achievement, math achievement, and AP/IB exam performance. Although significant differences in college readiness and advanced STEM course participation still exist for URM student groups when compared with Asian students, T-STEM schools are having better outcomes for URM student groups when compared with their peers throughout Texas. Conclusion: Although T-STEM schools may provide more opportunities for exposure to STEM and postsecondary education, URM student groups at T-STEM schools are still lagging in academic achievement overall when compared with White and Asian students. The most effective tool to encourage persistence in the STEM pipeline is academic preparation. The math achievement gap needs to be addressed before high school. Future research should include evaluating teacher implementation of inquiry-based instructional practices.
dc.description.departmentEducational Leadership and Policy Studies, Department of
dc.format.digitalOriginborn digital
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.identifier.urihttps://hdl.handle.net/10657/8313
dc.language.isoeng
dc.rightsThe author of this work is the copyright owner. UH Libraries and the Texas Digital Library have their permission to store and provide access to this work. Further transmission, reproduction, or presentation of this work is prohibited except with permission of the author(s).
dc.subjectURM
dc.subjectSTEM
dc.subjectcollege readiness
dc.subjectachievement
dc.subjectinquiry
dc.titleEncouraging Underrepresented Minority Student Participation in the STEM Pipeline Through Authentic STEM Learning Experiences
dc.type.dcmiText
dc.type.genreThesis
thesis.degree.collegeCollege of Education
thesis.degree.departmentEducational Leadership and Policy Studies, Department of
thesis.degree.disciplineProfessional Leadership, Education
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Houston
thesis.degree.levelDoctoral
thesis.degree.nameDoctor of Education

Files

Original bundle

Now showing 1 - 1 of 1
Loading...
Thumbnail Image
Name:
VARNADO-DOCTORALTHESISEDD-2021.pdf
Size:
1.43 MB
Format:
Adobe Portable Document Format

License bundle

Now showing 1 - 2 of 2
No Thumbnail Available
Name:
PROQUEST_LICENSE.txt
Size:
4.43 KB
Format:
Plain Text
Description:
No Thumbnail Available
Name:
LICENSE.txt
Size:
1.82 KB
Format:
Plain Text
Description: