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This volume's birth sprang forth from a conference, “Beyond Stock Stories and Folktales: African Americans and the Pipeline to the Professoriate, An Evidence-based Examination of STEM Fields,” on the campus of Washington University in St. Louis, and was sponsored by that university and the National Science Foundation. Initially, the conference invitees were charged to focus on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields and African American males. In particular, as co-organizers, we sought to assemble a group of scholars to discuss the evidentiary base associated with programs, policy, and practices purported to positively influence STEM outcomes for African American males. Our concern for African American males emanated from policy analyses that characterized the plight of African American males in terms of personal and social cost–benefit terms. For instance, using California as a basis, one cost–benefit estimate of that state's educational attainment trends indicate that each additional Black male “expected high school graduate” will earn $520,000 more over his lifetime than a school dropout counterpart. In addition, the social gains associated with each expected Black male high school graduate was estimated to be $681,130. One can only imagine what those gains are when projections model Black males who have attained college degrees, and particularly advanced graduate degrees in specialized STEM fields. Our thinking as conference organizers evolved with respect to focusing all of the conference papers on African American males only. Specifically, our review of the literature suggested that a more careful examination of how STEM outcomes for African Americans were influenced by gender was warranted. To address this perspective, we also solicited contributions that included gender-based analyses, where commonalities and differences by gender in STEM pathways for African Americans might be highlighted and better understood.
In 2009, Blacks earned about 6% of the doctoral degrees awarded in the field of epidemiology (NSF, 2010). This one year snapshot of attainment estimated that 17 of the 273…
In 2009, Blacks earned about 6% of the doctoral degrees awarded in the field of epidemiology (NSF, 2010). This one year snapshot of attainment estimated that 17 of the 273 doctoral degrees in the field were granted to Blacks. Aschengrau and Seage (2008) defined epidemiology as “the study of the distribution and determinants of disease frequency in human populations and the application of this study to control health problems” (p. 6). The research in epidemiology is often organized by disease or source of risk – e.g., infectious disease, cancer, occupational injury, psychiatric, respiratory, intestinal, renal, dental, or cardiovascular. Another way to categorize the research in epidemiology is by method – spatial, meta-analysis, economic, environmental, clinical, surveillance, disease informatics, biostatistics, and so on. For example, the progress in the Human Genome Project, in computing power, and in the development of powerful statistical approaches has expanded the analytical possibilities in genetic epidemiology, a discipline that seeks to understand how genetics, environmental factors, and their interactions produce various diseases and traits in humans. Genetic epidemiology as well as the other methodologies associated with field of epidemiology is part of population science where population history and dynamics are modeled. The scientific discipline of epidemiology is rarely part of discussions focused on opportunity pathways in STEM fields. Nor are many other fields aligned with population science (e.g., demography and population sociology) included in these discussions. These omissions represent blind spots that deserve to be clearly seen as part of discussions of STEM fields that require sound inquiry and serve to advance human development and human capital, while contributing to the common good.
The study compares the demographics and degree attainment in Washington University’s (the University) Chancellor’s Graduate Fellowship Program (CGFP) in the pre- and post…
The study compares the demographics and degree attainment in Washington University’s (the University) Chancellor’s Graduate Fellowship Program (CGFP) in the pre- and post-Grutter era. The fellowship program’s aims included bolstering African American graduate degree completion and preparing African American faculty members. The 2003 Grutter v. Bollinger affirmative action case serves as a break point to compare the 1991–2003 cohorts and the 2004–2008 cohorts. Interviews of key leaders give a historical perspective on the program’s mission. Institutional data organized to form two cohorts, pre- and post-Grutter comparison groups, provide insight into demographic trends and degree attainment. The CGFP realized its original mission to diversify the professoriate by supporting underrepresented graduate students. The vast majority of alumni in both cohorts earned a graduate degree and earned their intended degrees. The two cohorts achieved high doctoral degree attainment. Time-to-degree findings and placement within the academy demonstrated a positive outcome. However, the program post-Grutter has generated fewer African American participants. In the post-Grutter era, the University needs to develop new strategies to increase the racial diversity of graduate education. As a complementary resource, the CGFP, as part of a broader portfolio of programmatic and policy tools designed to diversify, merits continued investment. Only a fraction of programs focused on African American doctoral attainment publish evaluation data. The study captures the programmatic effects of the Grutter decision at an elite American university.
Should the higher education pipeline be viewed as a kind of geospatial production function? In this chapter, factors influencing the higher education pipeline for…
Should the higher education pipeline be viewed as a kind of geospatial production function? In this chapter, factors influencing the higher education pipeline for African-American males will be briefly examined. A specific focus will be on potential geospatial factors associated with educational attainment and life course outcomes.