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Title:Creating a climate for success?: Does racial composition matter for undergraduate Latina/o STEM retention?
Author(s):Rincon, Blanca Esmeralda
Director of Research:Trent, William T.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Trent, William T.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Chapa, Jorge; Baber, Lorenzo; Welton, Anjalé; George-Jackson, Casey
Department / Program:Educ Policy, Orgzn & Leadrshp
Discipline:Educational Policy Studies
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Higher Education
Science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM)
Racial Composition
Abstract:As the United States population approaches a minority majority, the need to address educational inequities is intensified, especially for Latina/o students, who are among the fastest growing ethnic minority group across the United States and at four-year colleges and universities. Concerns for national security, human capital development, innovation, and equity also demand increased representation of domestic under-represented groups in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. This quantitative dissertation comprises three studies that are informed by six years of semester-by-semester student-level data from six large, public, doctoral granting, research-intensive universities located in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions. First, I examine differences in STEM degree attainment among Latinos at the intersections of Latino ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic status and find evidence for the need to target STEM intervention efforts for Latinos by gender. Second, I explore the relationship between structural diversity and Latina/o STEM student persistence to degree and find a modest and negative relationship between increases in Latino racial composition at the cohort level and student departure from the university; however, no differences were observed for STEM departure or other measures of structural diversity. Third, I test whether students’ high school racial context serves as a moderating factor for STEM and college departure and find no evidence that students' high school racial context moderates the relationship between cohort-racial composition and college departure or departure from STEM.
Issue Date:2016-04-22
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 BLANCA E. RINCÓN
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-07-07
Date Deposited:2016-05

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