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Examining Recruitment and Retention Factors for Minority STEM Majors Through a Stereotype Threat Lens

Abstract

"Prior research regarding minorities in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields indicated that the factors of peer support and participation in STEM-related activities contributed positively to minority students' recruitment and retention in these fields. Utilizing stereotype threat as a conceptual framework, this qualitative case study investigated the contribution of these factors by examining the experiences of minority students majoring in a STEM field. Data analyzed through a deductive approach indicated that a stereotype threat adversely affecting retention and recruitment in STEM could be either minimized or maximized by peer support, in the form of educator or familial influence, and participation in STEM-related activities through internships and the application of STEM-related knowledge. Findings from this research may inform higher education institutional practices involving the recruitment and retention of students to the STEM fields from minority populations."

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