Increasing Underrepresented Minorities in STEM Education and Professions

In 2004, the National Science Foundation (NSF) contracted with the American Institutes for Research (AIR) to conduct a short-term study to assess program impact and collect evidence of project success in infrastructure enhancement (i.e., courses, equipment, faculty), and student recruitment, retention, graduation and advancement in STEM careers.

In addition, the study was to describe the project model(s) and determine whether or not the model(s) could guide national efforts for achieving and sustaining diversity in the STEM workforce.

AIR undertook a three-part study that involved secondary analysis of the Model Institutions for Excellence (MIE) and national data, case studies of the MIE projects to identify the project model(s) and benchmarking the core components of the model(s) against national standards.

Related Work

Image of Hispanic teenager at a microscopeAssociations Between Predictive Indicators and Postsecondary Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Success Among Hispanic Students in Texas (  November 2017)

Nationwide, Hispanic students continue to be underrepresented among students who complete a four-year degree in science, technology, engineering, and math fields and among workers in those fields. This study, which used data on seven cohorts of Texas students, suggests the importance of Hispanic students taking rigorous high school math and science courses.

Exploring the Foundations of the Future STEM Workforce: K–12 Indicators of Postsecondary STEM Success  (   April 2016)

Despite being the nation's largest racial/ethnic minority, Hispanics are underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)—both in college and the workplace.

The Role of Historically Black Colleges and Universities as Pathway Providers: Institutional Pathways to the STEM Ph.D. Among Black Students  (   September 2014)

The participation of diverse groups of individuals in STEM academic and workforce communities is severely lacking, particularly in the context of the nation’s shifting demographic landscape. This brief examines black STEM Ph.D. recipients’ institutional pathways to the doctorate and provides insight into who among black students are earning STEM doctoral degrees, whether black students are earning these degrees at historically black colleges and universities or other types of institutions, and the extent to which they being supported financially in their degree pursuits.

A Literature Review of STEM Graduate Education  (   October 2009)

This review follows a “pathways” approach that examines how underrepresented minorities enter and advance through STEM careers.