Race and Gender in Context: A Multi-method Study of Risk and Resilience in African American College Students’ Pathways in STEM

Principal Investigator: 
Project Overview
Background & Purpose: 

The study is a multi-method examination of African American college students' academic pathways at predominantly White universities. Of interest are unique individual and contextual factors related to students' academic risk and resilience outcomes in STEM and non-STEM areas.

Setting: 

The study is located in four Midwestern, public universities that are part of a multi-institutional partnership focused on recruitment and retention of underrepresented minorities in STEM fields.

Research Design: 

This project has a longitudinal and cross-sectional research design and will generate evidence that is descriptive [ethnographic, observational, and phenomenological] and causal [structural models]. Original data will be collected from African American college students using diaries, school records, observation [personal observation], and survey research [self-completion questionnaires and focus groups]. Instruments or measures being used include (1) longitudinal survey questionnaires of student demographics, individual factors (e.g., identity, personal attitudes) and contextual experience and perceptions (e.g., academic and social support resources, academic climate); (2) daily diary surveys and logs; (3) semi-structured interview and focus group protocols; (3) observation rubrics; and (4) archival institutional data.

In order to achieve our objectives, a complex longitudinal research design is proposed, integrating four independent studies with different research methods. For the survey and diary studies, various multivariate longitudinal methods will be used (e.g., multiple regression, ANOVA, structural equation modeling, hierarchical linear modeling). Various ethnographic and qualitative methods will be used to code field notes from observational data as well as interviews and focus groups. Results will be shared with study sites through collaborating program focused on minority STEM retention.

Findings: 

Findings will be posted as they become available.