Minority Students Severely Underrepresented in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math

  • Simeon P Slovacek
  • Jonathan C Whittinghill
  • Susan Tucker
  • Kenneth A Rath
  • Alan R Peterfreund
  • Glenn D Kuehn
  • Yvonne G Reinke
Keywords: minorities, academic success, program evaluation


This study documents the system of funded interventions employed at three public universities to support minority students studying science and examines targeted students career paths to discern the general efficacy of these interventions and other factors influencing success toward earning Ph.D.s. Interventions, including supplemental instruction, mentoring, laboratory experiences, financial assistance, graduate school preparation, as well as program management and infrastructure are assessed in relation to student academic progression. Various factors were able to explain over 40% to the variation in student progress toward Ph.D. program entry of biomedical science students. Students supported by these intervention programs at the three public universities studied demonstrated high graduation rates and Ph.D. entry rates. Knowing the impact of interventions and other factors enables universities and funding agencies to more effectively distribute their resources in supporting underrepresented minority students in pursuit of science careers.