Harvard Educational Review
  1. Summer 2011 Issue »

    Pipelines and Pathways

    Women of Color in Undergraduate STEM Majors and the College Experiences That Contribute to Persistence

    Lorelle L. Espinosa
    Supporting undergraduate achievement in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines is paramount to ensuring our nation’s continued scientific and technological advancement. In this quantitative study, Lorelle Espinosa examines the effect of precollege characteristics, college experiences, and institutional setting on the persistence of undergraduate women of color in STEM majors and also investigates how this pathway might differ for women of color in comparison to their White peers. She utilized hierarchical generalized linear modeling (HGLM) to examine the experiences of 1,250 women of color and 891 White women attending 135 institutions nationwide. Results revealed the paramount role of women’s college experiences. Women of color who persisted in STEM frequently engaged with peers to discuss course content, joined STEM-related student organizations, participated in undergraduate research programs, had altruistic ambitions, attended private colleges, and attended institutions with a robust community of STEM students. Negative predictors of persistence include attending a highly selective institution.

    Click here to purchase this article. 

    Lorelle L. Espinosa is the director of policy and strategic initiatives at the Institute for Higher Education Policy in Washington, DC. Her work on the intersection of gender and race/ethnicity in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) higher education was first published in the Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering in 2008. Since that time, she has become a regular contributor to professional journals and writes a widely read blog on the imperative of diverse perspectives in STEM education. Her dissertation on the persistence of women of color in STEM majors was cited for excellence by the Association for the Study of Higher Education in 2010.
  2. Share

    Summer 2011 Issue

    Abstracts

    Symposium: Unraveling the Double Bind
    Women of Color in STEM
    Editors of the Harvard Educational Review
    The Double Bind
    The Next Generation
    Lindsey E. Malcom and Shirley M. Malcom
    Inside the Double Bind
    A Synthesis of Empirical Research on Undergraduate and Graduate Women of Color in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
    Maria Ong, Carol Wright, Lorelle L. Espinosa, and Gary Orfield
    Pipelines and Pathways
    Women of Color in Undergraduate STEM Majors and the College Experiences That Contribute to Persistence
    Lorelle L. Espinosa
    Unique Challenges for Women of Color in STEM Transferring from Community Colleges to Universities
    Marie-Elena Reyes
    Symposium: Learning After Disaster
    Voices from Haiti and New Orleans
    Editors of the Harvard Educational Review
    Rebuilding a Country, Cultivating Local Capacity
    Interview with Fabienne Doucet and Louis Herns Marcelin
    Raygine DiAquoi
    Diasporic Lakou
    A Haitian Academic Explores Her Path to Haiti Pre- and Post-Earthquake
    Charlene Désir
    Race, Charter Schools, and Conscious Capitalism
    On the Spatial Politics of Whiteness as Property (and the Unconscionable Assault on Black New Orleans)
    Kristen L. Buras
    “There Is a Lot That I Want to Do”
    Reflections on the Relief Efforts in Haiti
    Raygine DiAquoi
    Who Dat Say (We) “Too Depraved to Be Saved”?
    Remembering Katrina/Haiti (and Beyond): Critical Studyin’ for Human Freedom
    Joyce King

    Book Notes

    Storytelling for Social Justice
    by Lee Anne Bell

    Quality Education as a Constitutional Right
    edited by Theresa Perry, Robert P. Moses, Joan T. Wynne, Ernesto Cortés Jr., and Lisa Delpit

    Black Youth Rising
    by Shawn A. Ginwright