Broadening STEM Participation
to African American Males

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Project Overview

In the career fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), there are small and decreasing number of African American Males entering college with preparation and interests to pursue these areas. In a report by NCES (2009) only 5.0% of African American men received bachelor's degrees from a STEM related major. The nation's economic prosperity is dependent upon the backbone of diverse groups of individuals' knowledgeable about and ability to work in quantitative and technical fields. Consequently, a diverse demographic make-up of the US requires the presence of underrepresented groups in quantitative and technical fields. Problematically, there is an absence of a comprehensive theory that identifies the factors that are necessary to promote excellence in mathematics and science among underrepresented groups. In addition, isolating the factors that facilitate or obstruct Black males' preparation for and interest in STEM college majors is hindered by the absence of analyses of gender within race/ethnic group. This prevents a specific focus on African American males.

This project seeks to disentangle the issues of race and gender and their relationship to factors influencing STEM interest and participation in order to advance the knowledge within academia and across STEM fields. This project will be guided by two conceptual frameworks "Engagement, Capacity and Continuity Trilogy Theory (Jolly, Campbell, and Perlman, 2004)" and the "Student Guiding Functions, Asset-Focused Strategies, Student Engagement (Boykin, Noguera, 2011)." Furthermore, using the ECC Trilogy Modal and Boykin/Noguera Model created a four factor (Engagement, Capacity, Continuity, & Guiding Functions) hybrid model that will guide this project. Ultimately, this project hopes to answer the following questions: 1) Is there a significant race by gender interaction effect on mathematics achievement using the HSLS:09 database? 2) Are the factors in the Four Factor Hybrid Model (ECC Trilogy Model & Boykin/Noguera model) positively associated with math achievement for 9th graders and are they predictive of STEM achievement for undergraduate Black males?

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