STEM

STEM Toolkit

With the rapidly growing Latina and Latino student population, it is time to envision equity—in access and success—in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. Unless colleges and universities are able to successfully enroll and graduate more Latina and Latino STEM majors, the country will face a shortage of skilled STEM professionals.

CUE’s STEM Toolkit features tools that help colleges and universities reflect on how institutional practices and resources, as well as individual actions and behaviors, affect Latina and Latino student success.

Download the full STEM Toolkit for Four Year Institutions

 

Understanding the Toolkit

Resulting from CUE’s NSF funded study Pathways to STEM Bachelor’s and Graduate Degrees for Hispanic Students and the Role of Hispanic-Serving Institutions, the toolkit develops competencies that facilitate Latina and Latino student success in STEM by helping both campus evidence teams and individuals understand the issues facing these students.

The tools are most effective when they are used by a team of people representing different segments of a college: faculty, student affairs, STEM programs, institutional research, transfer, and academic affairs. This cross-functional collaboration encourages organizational learning which can lead to campus-wide change. We encourage you to examine the tools and then start assembling a campus team to take a more in-depth look at the issue.

CUE is available to facilitate use of the toolkit on your campus as part of an Equity Scorecard™ process focused on STEM fields.

Continue reading for more information about the student that created the STEM Toolkit.

Featured Presentation:

Dr. Alicia C. Dowd’s presentation on Becoming Institutional Change Agents in STEM at the 2011 NSF STEP Grantees Meeting.

Latino Students in STEM

With funding from the National Science Foundation (Grant No. 0653280) CUE studied ways for institutions to increase Latino students access to and success in STEM fields. Through this study, CUE examined the features of exemplary STEM policies, programs, and practices to identify ways for institutions — both Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) as designated by the U.S. Department of Education, and non-Hispanic Serving — to increase the number of Latino STEM graduates.

The following reports and publications outline the findings of the study.

Community College Change Agents at HSIs: Stewarding HSI-STEM Funds for Latino Student Success in STEM

A new report by the Center for Urban Education (CUE) highlights the role institutional agents can play in increasing Latina and Latino student participation in STEM. Written by Professors Estela Mara Bensimon and Alicia C. Dowd, who co-direct the Center for Urban Education (CUE), the report is titled Community College Change Agents at HSIs: Stewarding HSI-STEM Funds for Latino Student Success in STEM.

Institutional Agents—practitioners who possess human, social, and cultural capital—can be developed, along with changes in policy and practice, as a way to increase participation in STEM by Latina and Latino students. Through the use of this report and the STEM Toolkit, faculty, staff and administrators can better understand institutional agents, and identify ways to cultivate institutional agents on their campus.

Using the examples of Dean Armando Gomez and Professor David Ramirez, two fictional institutional agents at Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), the report illustrates 14 different roles that institutional agents can take under such categories as direct support, integrative support, system developer, and system linkage and networking support. Vignettes illustrate how Dean Gomez and Professor Ramirez use a variety of resources to develop programs, create curricular pathways, provide advice and guidance to students, and impart knowledge about networks and behaviors that are unique to STEM disciplines.

Download and read the report here.

Developing the Capacity of Faculty to Become Institutional Agents

A new report by the Center for Urban Education (CUE) highlights the role institutional agents can play in increasing Latina and Latino student participation in STEM. Written by Professors Estela Mara Bensimon and Alicia C. Dowd, who co-direct the Center for Urban Education (CUE), the report is titled “Developing the Capacity of Faculty to Become Institutional Agents for Latinos in STEM.”

Institutional Agents—practitioners who possess human, social, and cultural capital—can be developed, along with changes in policy and practice, as a way to increase participation in STEM by Latina and Latino students. Through the use of this report and the STEM Toolkit, faculty, staff and administrators can better understand institutional agents, and identify ways to cultivate institutional agents on their campus.

Using the examples of Dean Armando Gomez and Professor David Ramirez, two fictional institutional agents at Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), the report illustrates 14 different roles that institutional agents can take under such categories as direct support, integrative support, system developer, and system linkage and networking support. Vignettes illustrate how Dean Gomez and Professor Ramirez use a variety of resources to develop programs, create curricular pathways, provide advice and guidance to students, and impart knowledge about networks and behaviors that are unique to STEM disciplines.

Download and read the report here.

Reducing Undergraduate Debt to Increase Latina and Latino Participation in STEM Professions

The Center for Urban Education released a new report, which examines the borrowing patterns of undergraduate students and the relation of that debt to enrollment in graduate school. The United States Congress is currently debating student loan interest rate legislation and this report provides information on the long term consequences of the decision, especially where it connects to workforce goals and innovation economy.

While increased undergraduate debt is a national concern as it can decrease recent graduates’ ability to function in society, this report raises the issue that undergraduate debt is not just a quality of life concern for graduates, but may be negatively impacting the nation’s workforce by limiting the number of students who go on to graduate school. A prior report in this series noted increasing participation of Latino STEM students at all degree levels is not just a matter of fairness and social equity, but of workforce need. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment in STEM occupations will increase by 21.3% from 2008 to 2018 – more than double the growth in other occupations. Latinos are the fastest growing demographic group and are projected to make up 25% of the U.S. population in 2020.

Click here to download the report.

Tapping HSI-STEM Funds to Improve Latina and Latino Access to the STEM Professions

Latest report from the Center for Urban Education’s three-year study documenting the institutional pathways Latinos take in earning STEM baccalaureates. Written by Dr. Lindsey E. Malcom, Dr. Alicia C. Dowd, and Terrence Yu.

Click here to download the report.

Improving Transfer Access to STEM Bachelor’s Degrees at Hispanic Serving Institutions through the America COMPETES Act

This report is intended to inform the capacity-building effort by highlighting the role of
Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) in producing Latino STEM baccalaureates. It indicates
a greater share of Latino students enrolled at HSIs earn degrees in key majors, such as
computer science, mathematics, and engineering, than do their counterparts at non-HSIs.
However, Latino students who transferred from community colleges to HSIs had lower
rates of participation in these fields of study. Given the large number of Latinos in
community colleges, transfer access to these fields must be increased in order to produce more Latino STEM baccalaureates.

Download and read the report here.

With funding from the National Science Foundation (Grant No. 0653280) CUE conducted a study of ways to increase Latino students access to and success in STEM fields. Through this study, CUE examined the features of exemplary STEM policies, programs, and practices to identify ways for institutions — both Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) as designated by the U.S. Department of Education, and non-Hispanic Serving — to increase the number of Latino STEM graduates.

Benchmarking the Success of Latino and Latina Students in STEM to Achieve National Graduation Goals

In California and other states where Latinos are rapidly shedding their “minority”
status, existent educational disparities signal the emergence of a dangerously polarized society with a shrinking professional class and a growing population of Latinos in the unskilled labor force. A number of recent studies have found that large numbers of students who are eligible to enroll in college are not doing so, thereby forming a pool of “undeveloped talent.” This undeveloped talent of Latinos in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields is particularly onerous. Although the number of Latinos participating in some form of higher education has more than doubled over the past two decades, Latino participation in STEM has not experienced the same gains. Latinos constituted 19% of the college-aged (18- to 24-year-old) population in 2006. In that year, however, only 8% of bachelor’s degrees, 3.5% of master’s degrees, and 4.4% of doctorates in STEM fields were awarded to Latinos. This is not due to a lack of interest. Among Latinos who enroll in four-year institutions, 36% indicate an intention to major in a STEM field. Latinos also enter STEM majors at rates similar to whites and African Americans. More should be done to build on this interest in order to increase the number of Latino STEM undergraduate and graduate degree holders.

Download and read the report here.
These reports are results from a study funded by the National Science Foundation (Grant No. 0653280).

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.