Title

Student Characteristics, Pre-College, College, and Environmental Factors as Predictors of Persisting in and Earning a STEM Degree: An Analysis of Students Attending a Hispanic Serving Institution

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

American Educational Research Journal

Volume

46

Issue

4

Publisher

Sage

Publication Date

12-1-2009

First Page

924

Last Page

942

Abstract

This study examined the demographic, pre-college, environmental, and college factors that impact students’ interests in and decisions to earn a science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) degree among students attending a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI). Results indicated that Hispanic students were well represented among STEM majors, and students’ decisions to declare a STEM major and earn a STEM degree were uniquely influenced by students’ gender, ethnicity, SAT math score, and high school percentile. Earning a STEM degree was related to students’ first-semester GPA and enrollment in mathematics and science “gatekeeper” courses. Findings indicate that HSIs may be an important point of access for students in STEM fields and may also provide opportunity for more equitable outcomes for Hispanic students.

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