There Is Another World Out There: Students of Color and Undergraduate STEM Research

By Joni Schwartz.

Published by The International Journal of Science in Society

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The article focuses on one set of findings from a two year phenomenological study examining effective student/faculty STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) Undergraduate Research (UR) mentoring relationships and their impact on the goal of retaining students of color in the sciences. The research site was a large urban East Coast public college where three fourths of all incoming freshmen receive need based aid and an estimated ninety per cent are students of color. Four student/faculty paired mentoring relationships were followed for two years; all four student participants of color are at the time of this writing continuing to pursue degrees in the STEM disciplines. This article looks at the success of these relationships for students in terms of providing: hands on science, career direction, affective support and identity development. In addition, the findings presented suggest that for students of color in the STEM disciplines, UR is a particularly beneficial pedagogical tool for retaining these students in STEM.

Keywords: Undergraduate Research, Students of Color, STEM, College Retention

The International Journal of Science in Society, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp.35-52. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1019.637KB).

Dr. Joni Schwartz

Professor, The City University of New York - CUNY, Kingsborough College - Department of Speech Communications, The City University of New York, LaGuardia College, Brooklyn, New York, USA

Dr. Joni Schwartz is the former research coordinator for The Black Male Initiative STEM project at The City University of New York’s NYC College of Technology with research interests in the retention of young men of color in the STEM disciplines. Currently she is an assistant professor in the Department of Humanities at LaGuardia Community College with a particular research interest in engagement of young men of color in learning, transitions from GED to college, and social justice pedagogy. Recently she co-produced “A New Normal: Young Men of Color, Trauma and Engagement in Learning”, a documentary addressing educational trauma and learning. She has also co-authored an upcoming student GED manual, and published in the Journal of Science Education, and Journal of Research and Practice in Adult Literacy, Secondary and Basic Education.