Although there is a need for STEM professionals in order for the United Status to maintain its status as a global leader, the trend shows a continual decrease of minority involvement. Many STEM studies have been conducted to increase minority involvement in STEM fields. The purpose of this mixed methods study was to explore the misrepresentation of minorities within STEM fields and perceptions of the STEM culture overall. A secondary purpose of the study was to learn whether the STEM culture discourages minorities from STEM careers. Perceptions of STEM culture were observed using an online open-ended response anonymous survey to see if it was directly related to low minority involvement in STEM fields. Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory emphasizes the importance of the environment upon development, hence perceptions of STEM culture and feedback on the work environment were examined within this study. Critical race theory examines society and culture as it relates to race and racism, and is a secondary framework within this study as the majority of STEM professionals are of Caucasian race and the field is male-dominated. Participant responses were collected from 20 minority STEM professionals within the DFW (Dallas-Fort Worth) area. The qualitative survey addressed perceptions of STEM culture. Prevalent themes included; entrust of management, a negative or adverse culture exists, and culture is not a factor. A perceived management-entrusted culture seemed to welcome minority involvement, while a negative or adverse culture was attributed to low STEM minority involvement. The results implied that a direct relationship exists between the two variables and that greater STEM career equity can be achieved by changing how culture is perceived. More research on STEM culture and how it relates to STEM minority involvement is needed to diversify talent and supply the demand.
|Commitee:||Thomas, David, Shriner, Michael|
|Department:||School of Education|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 82/1(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Ethnic studies, Multicultural Education, Science education|
|Keywords:||Engineering, Mathematics, Minority involvement, Minority studies, STEM, STEM Careers|
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