STEM Models of Success

Programs, Policies, and Practices in the Community College

Edited by:
J. Luke Wood, Sacramento State University
Robert T. Palmer, SUNY Binghamton

A volume in the series: Contemporary Perspectives in Race and Ethnic Relations. Editor(s): M. Christopher Brown, Thurgood Marshall College Fund. T. Elon Dancy, The University of Pittsburgh.

Published 2014

As the U.S. focuses on positioning itself to retain and advance its status as a world leader in technology and scientific innovation, a recognition that community colleges are a critical site for intervention has become apparent. Community colleges serve the lion’s share of the nation’s postsecondary students. In fact, 40% of all undergraduate students are enrolled in community colleges, these students account for nearly 30% of all STEM undergraduate majors in postsecondary institutions. These students serve as a core element of the STEM pipeline into four-year colleges and universities via the community college transfer function. Moreover, community colleges are the primary postsecondary access point for non-traditional students, including students of color, first-generation, low-income, and adult students. This is a particularly salient point given that these populations are sordidly underrepresented among STEM graduates and in the STEM workforce.

Increasing success among these populations can contribute significantly to advancing the nation’s interests in STEM. As such, the community college is situated as an important site for innovative practices that have strong implications for bolstering the nation’s production and sustenance of a STEM labor force. In recognition of this role, the National Science Foundation and private funding agencies have invested millions of dollars into research and programs designed to bolster the STEM pipeline. From this funding and other independently sponsored inquiry, promising programs, initiatives, and research recommendations have been identified. These efforts hold great promise for change, with the potential to transform the education and outcome of STEM students at all levels. This important book discusses many of these promising programs, initiatives, and research-based recommendations that can impact the success of STEM students in the community college. This compilation is timely, on the national landscape, as the federal government has placed increasing importance on improving STEM degree production as a strategy for America’s future stability in an increasingly competitive global marketplace. Informed by research and theory, each chapter in this volume blazes new territory in articulating how community colleges can advance outcomes for students in STEM, particularly those from historically underrepresented and underserved communities.

Preface. The Role of the Community College in Leveling the Playing Field: Underrepresented Racial and Ethnic Minorities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, Diane Rodriguez-Kiino. Exploring the Relationship of Race and Gender Among Transfer STEM Students, Eboni M. Zamani-Gallaherm, Chiron W. Graves, Cheyenne Luzynski, and Justin Ford. What Can We Learn From the Jack Cooke Kent Foundation?: Exploring Community Colleges, Foundation Support, and STEM, Pamela Felder and Jenna Tesauro. Bridging the Gap Between Community Colleges and Four-Year Universities to Maximize Effectiveness in STEM Education for Latino Males, Sarah Rodriguez, Victor Saenz, and Charles Lu. Community College Pathways in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Pipeline: National Trends and Implications for Increasing Representation, Felisha Herrera and Sylvia Hurtado. Upward Bound: Programs That Increase Minority Students’ Completion of Degrees in STEM Fields, Angel Rodriguez and Pilar Mendoza. A Synthesis of the Research on Community Colleges and Universities Regarding STEM Success Among Racial and Ethnic Minorities, Dimitra Jackson. Exemplary Practice for Seamless Pipeline Transitions Between Community Colleges and 4-Year Institutions, Román Liera, Shaila Mulholland, and Marian Ross. Pathway to the Baccalaureate: Fostering STEM Success, Jaime Lester and Tanneh Kamara. Using Research- and Evidence-Based Strategies to Increase Access and Gender Equity in STEM: The STEM Equity Pipeline Project, Ben Williams. STEM in Career and Technical Education: Using the Flutter Effect Framework to Increase Underrepresented Minority Student Success, Soko S. Starobin, Linda Serra Hagedorn, and Mary E. Darrow. The Role of Community College Faculty in Widening the STEM Pipeline, Christopher Nellum and Ignacio Hernandez. Community Colleges and the Education of Women of Color in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Programs, Dawn R. Johnson. About the Editors. About the Contributors.