Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Assessing the Impact of Gender and Racial/Ethnic Composition on Women of Color Students’ Likelihood to Pursue a Doctoral Degree in STEM Disciplines
by Hu, Yang, Ph.D., Indiana University, 2019, 137; 27669419
Abstract (Summary)

The underrepresentation of women and minorities in STEM has been a subject of policy and research interest for decades. This underrepresentation deprives the STEM workforce of diverse perspectives and contributes to a loss of talent and creativity that can positively impact the country’s ability to remain competitive globally. Despite years of devoting significant resources to this issue, progress in closing the gap has been slow.

This study seeks to develop a methodology to assess institutional effectiveness in preparing women of color for graduate STEM education. The assessment method should allow researchers, policy-makers and practitioners to explore the impact of structural characteristics and programmatic efforts to improve the preparation of women of color for graduate STEM education. To validate the model and explore its use, this study examines the impact of program structural characteristics related to gender and race/ethnicity composition and the presence of both undergraduate and graduate programs on the probability that women of color complete their undergraduate studies and go on to complete doctoral degrees in STEM fields.

There are two variables that have a negative impact on the outcome across disciplines: the proportion of part-time students and the institutional converted SAT-ACT score. The remaining predictors reveal mixed effects. The impact of the proportion of undergraduate students who are women of color, being a large-city located institution, and the proportion of students who are 25 years of age and older change direction when the outcome switches from the proportion of STEM women of color bachelor’s degree recipients to STEM women of color bachelor’s degree recipients who went on to earn a doctorate. There is limited support for the impact of the interaction between the level of undergraduate/graduate program coexistence and the proportion of graduate women of color students.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Borden, Victor M. H.
Commitee: McCormick, Alexander C., Gonyea, Robert M., Diekman, Amanda B.
School: Indiana University
Department: School of Education
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: DAI-A 81/7(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Higher education, Womens studies, Ethnic studies, Science education
Keywords: Baccalaureate origin, Doctoral degree, Institutional assessment, STEM, Undergraduate education, Women of color
Publication Number: 27669419
ISBN: 9781392876527
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