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Suggested Citation:"Appendix H: An Agenda for Future Research." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2011. Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America's Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12984.
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Appendix H
An Agenda for Future Research

The participation of underrepresented minorities in STEM is multidimensional. There is a growing body of research on the social, cultural, psychological, economic, and educational dimensions of broadening participation and success. This is evidenced by, among other things, several recent conferences on understanding interventions that encourage minorities to pursue research careers that showcase the latest research on the problem of women and minority participation as well as on the efficacy of specific interventions.1

A selection of promising lines of research and other scholarship on the dimensions of underrepresented minority participation in STEM from the recent past includes:

Economics:

  • Samuel L Myers and Caroline Sotello Viernes Turner 2004. “The effects of PhD supply on minority faculty representation,” The American Economic Review: Papers and Proceedings 94(2)(May 2004):296-301.

1

National Research Council, Understanding Interventions That Encourage Minorities to Pursue Research Careers, Washington, DC: National Academies Press, 2007. See http://books.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=12022 (accessed February 19, 2010). Anthony L. DePass and Daryl Chubin, eds., Understanding Interventions That Encourage Minorities to Pursue Research Careers: Building a Community of Research and Practice, Summary of a Conference, Bethesda, MD: American Society for Cell Biology, 2008. See http://www.understandinginterventions.org/wp-content/themes/simpla_widgetized/files/08Understanding_Interventions.pdf (accessed February 19, 2010).

Suggested Citation:"Appendix H: An Agenda for Future Research." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2011. Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America's Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12984.
×

Sociology:

  • Sandra Hanson. 2009. Swimming Against the Tide: Minority Women in Science. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.

  • Watford, T., M. Rivas, R. Burciaga, and D. Solorzano. 2006. Latinas and the doctorate: The “status”of attainment and experiences from the margin. In J. Castellanos, A. Gloria, and M. Kamimura, eds., The Latina/o Pathway to a PhD: Abriendo Caminos (112-133). Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin-Madison Press.

  • Willie Pearson, Jr. 2005. Beyond Small Numbers: Voices of African American PhD Chemists. New York, NY: Elsevier.

  • Sylvia Hurtado et al. 1999. Enacting Diverse Learning Environments: Improving the Climate for Racial/Ethnic Diversity in Higher Education (J-B ASHE Higher Education Report Series). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

  • Kenneth L. Maton, Freeman A. Hrabowski, Metin Ozdemir, and Harriette Wimms. 2008. Enhancing representation, retention, and achievement of minority students in higher education: A social transformation theory of change. In M. Shinn and H. Yoshikawa, eds., Toward Positive Youth Development: Transforming Schools and Community Programs (115-132). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

  • Thomas J. Espenshade and Alexandria W. Radford. 2009. No Longer Separate, Not Yet Equal: Race and Class in Elite College Admission and Campus Life. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

History of Science:

  • Evelynn Hammonds 2009. The Nature of Difference: Sciences of Race in the United States from Jefferson to Genomics. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

  • Kenneth Manning. 1985. Black Apollo of Science: The Life of Ernest Everett Just New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Science and Mathematics Education:

  • Mary Atwater. 1995. African American female faculty at predominantly white research universities: Routes to success and empowerment. Innovative Higher Education 19(4):237-240.

  • M. Chang, et al. 2008. The contradictory role of institutional status in retaining underrepresented minority students in biomedical and behavioral science majors. Review of Higher Education 31(4):433-464.

  • B. C. Clewell, B. T. Anderson, and M. E. Thorpe. 1992. Breaking the Barriers: Helping Female and Minority Students Succeed in Mathematics and Science. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix H: An Agenda for Future Research." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2011. Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America's Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12984.
×
  • S. Hurtado, N. L. Cabrera, M. H. Lin, L. Arellano, and L. Espinosa, 2009. Diversifying science: Underrepresented student experiences in structured research programs. Research in Higher Education 50(2):189-214.

  • S. Hurtado, M. K. Eagan, N. L. Cabrera, M. H. Lin, J. Park, and M. Lopez. 2008. Training future scientists: Predicting first-year minority student participation in health science research. Research in Higher Education 49(2):126-152.

  • Hurtado, S., Han, J.C., Saenz, V.B., Espinosa, L., Cabrera, N., and Cerna, O. (2007). “Predicting Transition ad Adjustment to College: Biomedical and Behavioral Science Aspirants’ and Minority Students’ First Year of College”, Research in Higher Education, 48(7): 841-887.

  • E. C. Parsons. 2007. Functioning in two disparate worlds. In K. Tobin and W. M. Roth, eds., The Culture of Science Education: Historical and Biographical Perspectives. The Netherlands: Sense Publishers.

  • M. Summers and Freeman Hrabowski. 2006. Preparing minority scientists and engineers. Science 311 (March 31):1870-1871.

This is a list of promising researchers and scholars, yet this group represents a relatively small cadre, and there is, nonetheless, a need to increase the number of trained researchers whose inquiry is focused on underrepresented minority participation in STEM. A central challenge has been a relative dearth of underrepresented minorities, in particular, formally trained in the history, philosophy, and social study of science. Few nonminority scholars have chosen to write about people of color and STEM, so addressing this dearth of qualified minority researchers is critical to advancing research in the relevant fields. One reason for this dearth is that few underrepresented minorities are enrolled in graduate programs in the elite research institutions that offer the social study of science. In the meantime, too much of the extant literature on underrepresented minorities in STEM has been undertaken by individuals without scientific training.

Along with additional researchers, there can be further advancements in research. Priority areas of inquiry that have been identified by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Willie Pearson, and Cheryl Leggon include:2

  • How to create a nurturing institutional and departmental culture that facilitates underrepresented minority success in STEM. New research is needed to better understand the factors that facilitate institutions’ embracing of diversity beyond numbers and truly capturing the full benefits that diversity offers.

2

AAAS, 2001. In Pursuit of a Diverse Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Workforce: Recommended Research Priorities to Enhance Participation by Underrepresented Minorities. Washington, DC: AAAS.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix H: An Agenda for Future Research." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2011. Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America's Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12984.
×
  • Systematic research to identify those characteristics of the environment and the climate of minority serving institutions (HBCUs, HSIs, TCUs) that sustain and nurture underrepresented minority student interest in STEM education and careers and how predominantly white institutions can adapt those characteristics on their campuses.

  • How to develop a critical mass of underrepresented minorities in STEM and the effects of such a critical mass (or lack thereof) on recruitment, social integration, and academic outcomes.

  • Understanding of the role of mentoring and mentoring models in STEM education at the high school, undergraduate, and graduate levels.

  • Better understanding of the dynamics of creating and sustaining social support networks for students and for faculty.

  • Understanding the interaction of gender differences within race and ethnicity in STEM education and careers.

  • Understanding the interactions among intervention programs. Existing research rarely distinguishes influence from selection.

  • Understanding how participation in multiple intervention programs affects student outcomes.

  • Assessing the impact on institutions that have participated in targeted intervention programs, understanding changes in institutional culture; changes in the demographics of students, faculty, and staff; and improvements in the participation (in quantitative and qualitative terms) of underrepresented minorities in STEM.

  • Reasons for attrition of underrepresented minorities in STEM along the pathway:

    • Why able and high achieving underrepresented minorities do not enter STEM college majors.

    • Why able and high achieving underrepresented minorities who do enter STEM college majors either do not complete college or switch to other majors.

    • Why more high ability underrepresented minorities do not pursue doctoral education in STEM.

    • Why underrepresented minorities who complete a doctorate in STEM pursue careers outside of academia.

  • Identification of the contributions and experiences of eminent underrepresented minority scientists and engineers that can be used to inspire a new generation.

An additional area of social and behavioral research that would benefit from funding is the replication of programs, particularly “best practices” in other environments, answering the question "what works for whom and under what conditions?” Replication is a difficult process and not enough is known about how to do this successfully. Indeed, assessing replicability

Suggested Citation:"Appendix H: An Agenda for Future Research." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2011. Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America's Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12984.
×

is a new approach to understanding the improvement of STEM education, both in general and for underrepresented minorities. For example, a variant of the Meyerhoff program at the University of Maryland Baltimore County is now being implemented at Louisiana State University, Cornell University, and Morehouse College. An assessment of these and other efforts at replicability will enhance our knowledge of the effectiveness of potential strategies for using best practices in new contexts.

On the K-12 level, there is a need for longitudinal studies to document the long term impact of Head Start, TRIO, and Upward Bound on achievement in mathematics and science, especially for minorities. Research is needed also to establish the conditions under which AP exam scores lower than 3 relate to college success.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix H: An Agenda for Future Research." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2011. Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America's Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12984.
×

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix H: An Agenda for Future Research." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2011. Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America's Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12984.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix H: An Agenda for Future Research." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2011. Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America's Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12984.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix H: An Agenda for Future Research." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2011. Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America's Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12984.
×
Page 267
Suggested Citation:"Appendix H: An Agenda for Future Research." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2011. Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America's Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12984.
×
Page 268
Suggested Citation:"Appendix H: An Agenda for Future Research." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2011. Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America's Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12984.
×
Page 269
Suggested Citation:"Appendix H: An Agenda for Future Research." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2011. Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America's Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12984.
×
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In order for the United States to maintain the global leadership and competitiveness in science and technology that are critical to achieving national goals, we must invest in research, encourage innovation, and grow a strong and talented science and technology workforce. Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation explores the role of diversity in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce and its value in keeping America innovative and competitive. According to the book, the U.S. labor market is projected to grow faster in science and engineering than in any other sector in the coming years, making minority participation in STEM education at all levels a national priority.

Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation analyzes the rate of change and the challenges the nation currently faces in developing a strong and diverse workforce. Although minorities are the fastest growing segment of the population, they are underrepresented in the fields of science and engineering. Historically, there has been a strong connection between increasing educational attainment in the United States and the growth in and global leadership of the economy. Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation suggests that the federal government, industry, and post-secondary institutions work collaboratively with K-12 schools and school systems to increase minority access to and demand for post-secondary STEM education and technical training.

The book also identifies best practices and offers a comprehensive road map for increasing involvement of underrepresented minorities and improving the quality of their education. It offers recommendations that focus on academic and social support, institutional roles, teacher preparation, affordability and program development.

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