HSI STEM Transfer
The research reported here was supported by the US National Science Foundation, through award #1645072 to the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not represent views of the National Science Foundation.
The National Science Foundation uses the Early-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) funding mechanism to support exploratory work in its early stages on untested, but potentially transformative, research ideas or approaches. In response to the Dear Colleague Letter NSF 15-078, "Stimulating Research on Effective Strategies in Undergraduate STEM Education at Two-Year Hispanic Serving Institutions", the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will conduct an exploratory research study on the impact of two-year Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) on the persistence and success of Latino(a) students in STEM.
The study will be conducted in two phases using a dominant-less dominant mixed methods research design. In Phase 1, the quantitative phase of the study, two national data sets will be coupled and then mined to determine the STEM transfer pathways for Hispanic students at two-year HSIs. Based on the results of Phase 1, Phase 2, the qualitative phase of the study, will involve case studies of five HSIs to enable a deeper dive to probe in detail the practices of Hispanic-serving community colleges that facilitate the successful matriculation, graduation, and transfer of Latino(a) students in STEM programs. The results of the research study will contribute to the knowledge base by increasing understanding about which STEM majors and which two-year HSIs have the greatest production of Hispanic student transfers and completers of four-year STEM degrees. The methodology employed is novel and may yield new methods for using data mining techniques to explore data for other types of institutions. The outcomes could inform two-year HSIs (and other community colleges) about those strategies they could implement to facilitate successful STEM pathways for Latino(a) students.