What Matters in College for Retaining Aspiring Scientists and Engineers from Underrepresented Racial Groups
This study examined factors that contribute to the persistence of underrepresented racial minority (URM) undergraduates in STEM fields. The primary source of data came from the Cooperative Institutional Research Program's 2004 The Freshman Survey (TFS) and 2008 College Senior Survey (CSS). Findings indicate that pre-college factors may explain some of the observed racial disparities in STEM persistence. Findings from follow-up analyses suggest that institutions can improve URM STEM persistence by encouraging students to study frequently with others, participate in undergraduate research, and participate in academic clubs or organizations.