Poster Paper: Diversifying STEM: The Role of Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs)

Thursday, July 19, 2018
Buidling 5, Libreria Foyer (Bookstore Foyer) (ITAM)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Felisha Herrera, San Diego State University and Anthony Villarreal, Claremont Graduate University

Minority Serving Institutions (MSI) are primary college access points to STEM education for historically underrepresented racial minorities (URM), specifically African Americans, American Indians, and Latinx students. Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), with 25% or more of their students being Latinx, provide important pathways within STEM. Nearly half of all Latinx STEM students are enrolled in HSIs, along with significant proportions of other URM students (Herrera, et al., 2018). Retaining these students in STEM is a major challenge as only 14.7% of STEM degrees awarded in the U.S. in 2010 were to URMs (Estrada et al., 2016). More research is needed on the role of HSIs in providing equitable STEM opportunities for Latinx and other URM students (Crisp et al., 2009). Additionally, STEM persistence and attainment is often examined within the context of only one institution, yet the numbers of students who attend multiple colleges is increasing and transitions across institutions are key factors to consider in assessing STEM degree pathways. This study examines STEM pathways for URM students in the U.S., focusing specifically on the role of HSIs. MSIs have a substantial impact on diversifying STEM in the U.S.; therefore, the study findings have global implications that can inform the over 900 MSIs identified around the world (Gasman & Castro 2015), which have the potential to impact on minority populations and STEM globally.