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Race and Gender Differences in How Sense of Belonging Influences Decisions to Major in STEM

Abstract

"Women and students of color are widely underrepresented in most STEM fields. In order to investigate this underrepresentation, we interviewed 201 college seniors, primarily women and people of color, who either majored in STEM or started but dropped a STEM major. Here we discuss one section of the longer interview that focused on students' sense of belonging, which has been found to be related to retention. In our analysis, we examine the intersections of race and gender with students' sense of belonging, a topic largely absent from the current literature."

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