A Holistic Model for Student Success in STEM
A Holistic Model for Student Success in STEM (with J. Adams, D. Bright, J. Jackson), in SOCIAL JUSTICE AND EDUCATION IN THE 21ST CENTURY: RESEARCH FROM SOUTH AFRICA AND THE UNITED STATES (Willie Pearson & Vijay Reddy eds.) (Springer 2021)
Posted: 21 Jul 2021
Date Written: April 19, 2021
The failure of the U.S. education system to create access to educational opportunities in STEM for Black Americans is a social justice issue reflecting a long history of exclusion and barriers to the success of Blacks. While the demographics of the U.S. population are in transition, the National Science Foundation’s report on STEM Education Data and Trends (2019) suggests that representation of Blacks and Hispanics in the U.S. STEM Workforce has fallen significantly behind their representation in the population. This underrepresentation of Blacks in the education pipeline and STEM workforce has a significant impact on basic research science, education, and training in STEM. The National Science Foundation’s NCSES data (NSF, 2016–2017) found that in 2016 only 8.27% of Science and Engineering Bachelor degrees were awarded to African Americans and only 6.55% of African Americans with Bachelor’s degrees were in Science and Engineering occupations. A significant increase in the presence and participation of Blacks in the STEM workforce is urgently needed. The lack of Blacks in STEM careers illustrates the need for interventions that increase their participation in STEM at the undergraduate and graduate levels, pursue careers in STEM, and influence future research and the educations of future scientists. This chapter proposes a comprehensive holistic model designed to serve as the foundation for interventions and policy recommendations that recognize the culture and cultural identity of students, as well as the individual personality characteristics of students. The proposed model facilitates the creation of a supportive and effective educational environment that is responsive to personality and cultural identity as a key component of enhancing academic engagement and STEM preparation. In addition to effective practices and high expectations, the model proposes that academic and STEM training programs be designed to recognize and appreciate the cultural experiences of the child and use strategies that support that cultural orientation. Some elements of this model exist in various programs that reflect best practices in the training of Black students in STEM.
Keywords: Higher Education, STEM, Diversity, Science, Access, African Americans
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