The STEM Pipeline: The Role of Summer Research Experience in Minority Students' Graduate Aspirations

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Abstract

Practical research experience has been seen as an important tool to enhance learning in STEM fields and shape commitment to science careers. Indeed, this was a prominent recommendation of the Boyer Commission. Further, there is evidence this is especially important for minority students. In this paper, we examine the role of practical research experience during the summer for talented minority undergraduates in STEM fields. We focus on the link between summer research and STEM PhD program matriculation.  We examine evidence on this question using detailed data on students participating in the Meyerhoff Scholarship Program over a 14 year period at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. Our results provide evidence of strong positive effects of summer research on participation in STEM PhD programs. Further, we show that the effects of summer research vary with the frequency and timing of these experiences. The evidence that educational strategies such as summer research experiences improve academic outcomes of minorities is vital, given concern about the science pipeline in the U.S. and the continuing growth in the racial/ethnic diversity of the college-age population.

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How to Cite
Pender, M., Marcotte, D. E., Sto. Domingo, M. R., & Maton, K. I. (2010). The STEM Pipeline: The Role of Summer Research Experience in Minority Students’ Graduate Aspirations. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 18, 30. https://doi.org/10.14507/epaa.v18n30.2010
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Author Biographies

Matea Pender, University of Maryland Baltimore County

1000 Hilltop Circle

Department of Public Policy, room #422

Baltimore, MD 21250

matea1@umbc.edu

Phone: 410-455-8198

Dave E. Marcotte, University of Maryland Baltimore County

1000 Hilltop Circle

Department of Public Policy, room #411

Baltimore, MD 21250

marcotte@umbc.edu

Phone: 410-455-1455

Mariano R. Sto. Domingo, University of Maryland Baltimore County

1000 Hilltop Circle

Department of Public Policy, room #422

Baltimore, MD 21250

stodomin@umbc.edu

Phone: 410-455-3826

Kenneth I. Maton, University of Maryland Baltimore County

1000 Hilltop Circle

Psychology Department, room #313

Baltimore, MD 21250

maton@umbc.edu

Phone: 410-455-2567