This chapter proposes a research model with the potential to solve the pressing problem of the underrepresentation of Blacks in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The underrepresentation problem can be addressed at two points. The first being the graduation point where Blacks are significantly underrepresented among STEM graduates. According to 2016 NSF data, Blacks were awarded just 6.2% of US STEM degrees. This was a 16% decrease from 2004 levels. The second point is the STEM work environments is an employment climate perceived as unwelcoming for Blacks which often leads to higher attrition of mainly Black males, but Black females are affected as well. This chapter deals only with the intervention strategies that will address the underrepresentation of Black students among STEM graduates.
The need for effective STEM education interventions aimed at improving academic outcomes for Black students in STEM has been articulated by many. This chapter explores how the NIH's model of translational research can be applied to the development of interventions aimed at improving the academic outcomes of Black STEM students. Using the principles of translational research, the authors of this chapter report how they had developed a STEM teaching and assessment intervention that resulted in improving the Introductory Biology scores in one section at a historically Black college and university (HBCU) to a 72% average compared to the 50% average of all the other peer sections. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the requirements for a solutions approach to the pressing problem of the underrepresentation of Blacks in STEM fields.
Norman, O., Pinder, P., Ragland, S., Shelley, M., Norman, N. and Shakwa, G. (2022), "Toward a Solutions Approach to the Problem of Black Underrepresentation in STEM", Robins, A.G., Knibbs, L., Ingram, T.N., Weaver, M.N. and Hilton, A.A. (Ed.) Young, Gifted and Missing (Diversity in Higher Education, Vol. 25), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 11-22. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1479-364420220000025002
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Copyright © 2022 Obed Norman, Patrice Pinder, Sharonda Ragland, Mack Shelley, Nicola Norman and Geoffrey Shakwa. Published under exclusive licence by Emerald Publishing Limited