June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
Two Year College Division
Despite the large and growing gap in diversity in STEM higher education and employment few studies have described and evaluated individual programs aimed to address the equity gap in STEM higher education, particularly programs aimed specifically at supporting diverse community college students who are pursuing STEM fields. This mixed methods study investigates one such program, The MESA (Math Engineering Science Achievement) Community College Program (MCCP) in six colleges in two states, examining student experiences and outcomes via focus groups, a survey, and statistical data analysis. The study finds that there is at least suggestive evidence that MCCP may produce impressive results in a field of great policy interest. When compared against students who also showed transfer intent in a STEM field MESA students accumulated significantly more college level credits, more STEM credits, and graduated with a transfer degree at significantly higher rates. Students in focus groups attributed program success to the positive and affirming community, academic support, career and professional development activities with diverse mentors, and targeted academic advising they received through MESA, activities that have also been found to be important in previous studies.
Dorsey, J. B., & Apple Meza, E., & Harvey-Buschel, P. G. (2017, June), Meeting the Need for Diversity in STEM Fields Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/28662
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