Campus Climate and STEM Success


Today’s student body is more diverse than ever before. But students enrolled in science, engineering, technology, and math (STEM) disciplines remains largely homogeneous. Women and underrepresented minorities often cite climate as a barrier to their persistence and completion in these fields.

This blog series on campus climate and STEM success aims to unpack differences, similarities, and connections between STEM departmental climate and the climate of the campus at large to highlight approaches that can increase the enrollment, retention, and success of marginalized students. ACE is proud to partner with the National Center for Institutional Diversity at University of Michigan to bring you this blog series.

Increasing Representation of Underrepresented Groups Among STEM Faculty Members
Just as important as creating interest in STEM among students is achieving a more diverse STEM faculty. Having more role models can help students better imagine a similar career trajectory for themselves. Suzanna Rose of Florida International University looks at how institutions can pursue equity and representation among their faculty.

Climate, Mentoring, and Persistence Among Underrepresented STEM Doctoral Students
To ensure true equity and success for underrepresented students in STEM, institutional efforts to increase demographic diversity through recruitment must be accompanied by the creation of an inclusive environment where students can thrive. Tabbye Chavous, Seanna Leath, and Raúl Gámez of the University of Michigan look at the issue.

Disconnections Between Research and Practice in STEM Education
An overarching goal of STEM education research is to identify how to improve STEM learning environments through the lenses of education and social science. To make this work most effectively, this research needs to be shared with individuals directly involved in teaching or managing STEM courses. Ahlam Lee of Xavier University discusses how to make this happen.

STEM Climate for Students with Disabilities
More students with disabilities of all types are enrolling in postsecondary education institutions than ever before. Yet fewer of them persist to graduation relative to their peers without disabilities, and still fewer graduate with science, technology, engineering, or mathematics degrees. Rachel Friedensen, a postdocotoral research associate at Iowa State University, examines this dilemma.

HBCUs, Black Women, and STEM Success
While HBCUs do their share of producing black graduates with STEM degrees, there is a greater need for equity throughout the education pipeline and in workforce hiring practices, writes Howard University’s Caroline Harper.

Why Social Interactions Matter for Our Conversations About Campus Climates and STEM
Students’ social interactions and views of race and inequality are shaped by the climate on campus, which could explain some of the disparities in the STEM fields, according to W. Carson Byrd of the University of Louisville.

Addressing STEM Culture and Climate to Increase Diversity in STEM Disciplines
Despite millions of dollars in science diversity programs designed to shift patterns of representation in the STEM fields, minoritized populations continue to be underrepresented. The University of Maryland’s Kimberly Griffin looks at the need to attend to both STEM culture and institutional climate to cultivate more inclusive learning environments and increase diversity.