Research and Equity Scholarship Institute on Student Trajectories in Education

ED-SYSTEMS
Settings Yielding Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math Success

Community colleges and Minority Serving Institutions, including Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), provide several pathways and linkages to the STEM pipeline and are key access points to postsecondary education for underrepresented racial minorities (URM), specifically African Americans, American Indians, and Latinos. Student mobility and transitions across institutions are key factors to consider in assessing STEM degree pathways. This study seeks to examine STEM pathways for students who begin at community colleges, with a specific emphasis on URM students, student mobility across multiple institutions, and the role of HSIs. The research findings will provide a better understanding of how to assess STEM outcomes and hold potential to transform the structure and processes that underlie STEM postsecondary trajectories to promote racial equity and broaden participation in STEM.

An integrated mixed methods approach utilizing multiple membership random effect modeling, social network analysis, and digital narratives, with both national and regional data, will provide a fine-grained and nuanced examination of the barriers and opportunities to STEM presented by individual characteristics and institutional contexts for URM students who may navigate STEM pathways across several institutions. The following research purposes will be addressed: 1) identify STEM student mobility patterns, showing the links between institutions and how these links impact students, 2) utilize advanced statistical techniques that account for student mobility across colleges to examine the student characteristics, college experiences, and institutional contexts that contribute to STEM outcomes, and 3) qualitatively deepen and clarify findings from the large scale data analysis to generate insights on students’ lived experiences.

Funded by:

San Diego State University Division of Research Affairs

National Science Foundation: ED-SYSTEMS (DUE-1644990)


Principal Investigator:
Dr. Felisha Herrera Villarreal


ED-SYSTEMS PARTNERS:
San Diego City College, Southwestern College, MESA


HSI-STEM
Hispanic Serving Institutions:
STEM Transitions, Experiences, and Mobility

The Improving Undergraduate STEM Education: Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program (HSI Program) aims to enhance undergraduate STEM education and build capacity at HSIs. Projects supported by the HSI Program will also generate new knowledge about how to achieve these aims. This project at San Diego State University will advance the aims of the HSI Program by transforming the pathways taken by STEM undergraduate students. The project considers student mobility and transitions between multiple institutions in its work to transform STEM degree pathways. Specifically, this project will identify mechanisms of support for students’ transitions between two- and four-year colleges, in addition to the multiple movements that might occur prior to this critical transition. This study will provide information about strategies to help students, including underrepresented minorities, to reach their STEM potential. This knowledge is critical, given the large numbers of students from underrepresented groups who are enrolled in community colleges and HSIs.

The overall aim of the proposed project is to examine STEM pathways for students who began their postsecondary education at community colleges, with a specific emphasis on student mobility across multiple institutions. The project will also investigate the specific role of HSIs in these pathways. The research approach will be an integrated mixed methods and multilayered approach using multiple membership random effect modeling, social network analysis, and qualitative narratives, with both regional and national data. This research approach enables a fine-grained and nuanced examination of the barriers and opportunities in STEM for students who may navigate STEM pathways across multiple institutions. This project aims to: 1) identify STEM student mobility patterns and the links between institutions, how these patterns and links affect students, and how they differ across groups; 2) use advanced statistical techniques that account for student mobility across colleges to examine the student characteristics, college experiences, and institutional contexts that contribute to STEM outcomes; and 3) qualitatively deepen and clarify results from this large scale data analysis, and generate insights on the opportunities and challenges for system-wide structures and partnerships.

Funded by:

National Science Foundation: HSI-STEM (DUE-1832528)


Principal Investigator:
Dr. Felisha Herrera Villarreal


HSI-STEM PARTNERS:
Grossmont College, Imperial Valley College, MiraCosta College, Palomar College, San Diego City College, San Diego Mesa College, Southwestern College, MESA

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