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Understanding the Reasons for Low Representation of Ethnic Minority Students in STEM Fields

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

Dissecting the Nuances that Hinder Broad Participation in Engineering

Tagged Division

Minorities in Engineering

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Paper Authors


Rajeev K Agrawal North Carolina A&T University (Tech)

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Dr. Rajeev Agrawal has been teaching in the Department of Computer Systems Technology at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NCAT), Greensboro, North Carolina for last six years. His current research focuses on Big data Analytics, Cloud Computing, and social-media analytics. He received the best paper award for his paper on Image Clustering Using Multimodal Keywords in the International Conference on Semantics and Digital Media Technology, Athens, Greece. He has published more than 50 referred journal and conference papers and 4 book chapters. He has been project manager and a member of several research and industrial grants. Dr. Agrawal actively serves as committee member and reviewer for conferences and journals in his area of research. He is a senior member of IEEE and a member of ACM, and ASEE.

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Myron L. Stevenson North Carolina A&T State University

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Myron Stevenson is a candidate for a Masters of Information Technology degree at North Carolina A&T State University. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communications from Elon University in 1998. Myron has over 15 years experience in information technology. He is currently a systems analyst for the Nicholas School of Environment at Duke University.

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Clay Gloster Jr North Carolina A&T University (Tech)

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Clay Gloster, Jr. is currently serving as the chairperson in the Department
of Computer Systems Technology at North Carolina A&T State University. He received the B.S. and M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering from
North Carolina A&T State University (Greensboro, NC) and the Ph.D. degree
in Computer Engineering from North Carolina State University (Raleigh NC).
He also has been employed with IBM, the Department of Defense,
the Microelectronics Center of North Carolina, North Carolina State University, and Howard University.

research interests are in the general area of reconfigurable computing. Current research focuses
on the development of a suite of software tools that allow scientists to benefit from the potential order of magnitude
speedup in execution time offered by reconfigurable computers over typical desktop computers. Dr. Gloster has also conducted research in the area of
technology-based curriculum development, distance education, and VLSI design for testability.

Dr. Gloster has taught courses on digital system design, ASIC design, microprocessor system applications, FPGA-based
system design, and VLSI design for testability (using VHDL/Verilog). He has served on the program committee and as session
chair for several international conferences. He received best paper and presentation awards for a paper presented at the
International Conference on Computer Design and has received numerous fellowships and distinguished awards. Dr. Gloster holds one US patent and led the effort to establish a new BS degree program in Computer Engineering at Howard University.

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North Carolina’s job growth in STEM ranks in the top third nationally with Charlotte and Raleigh consistently ranking in the top 100 for STEM careers. The state’s universities are among the leading producers of STEM graduates in the southeastern United States. With the success North Carolina has in producing STEM jobs and workers, minorities are not well represented. Considering the universities’ overall production of STEM graduates, an analysis of the effectiveness North Carolina’s K-12 education prepares underrepresented minorities is required. Proficiency in math is a basic requirement in STEM. However, underrepresented minorities historically score lower than White students on standardized math exams, a common metrics used to determine math aptitude. With underrepresented minorities having higher percentages of impoverished people under 18, using regression analysis, we will demonstrate a direct correlation between economic conditions and low math aptitudes, which leads to low representation in STEM fields. Implementing cultural relational teaching methods into standard curriculum, may lead to increased interest and self-efficacy in math and science for underrepresented minority students of North Carolina. Understanding these variables and the effects will lead to better prepared incoming collegiate freshmen interested in STEM, leading to increased ethnic representation in the workforce.

Agrawal, R. K., & Stevenson, M. L., & Gloster, C. (2016, June), Understanding the Reasons for Low Representation of Ethnic Minority Students in STEM Fields Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.27105

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