Increase the Diversity of your Graduates
Why Focus on Diversity? »Recruiting, supporting, and preparing minority students in STEM disciplines
What do we mean by "Diversity"?
InTeGrate defines diversity broadly including ethnic and racial minorities, women, people with disabilities, veterans and active duty military personnel, people of low socioeconomic status, LGBTQ individuals, and other groups that are not represented in the geosciences in proportion to their abundance in society.
In order to persist in STEM majors, students must first be attracted to them. The state of minority participation in STEM majors has shown improvement over the last decade, but more can be done. There are a number of proven strategies faculty and departments can use to increase student interest in STEM majors.
Multifaceted approaches to supporting students in STEM majors are the most effective strategies regardless of the student population but especially important for increasing the success of underrepresented minority students in STEM. Faculty, departments, and institutions have a number of options when it comes to creating a sense of belonging, strengthening mentoring and advising, and helping students feel comfortable seeking help.
Examples of Successful Strategies
We have interviewed faculty from a number of institutions to learn how they approach increasing the diversity of students learning about the Earth and how their efforts are paying off. In these interviews faculty were asked to describe what they see as the keys to success for their programs. The programs profiled range from traditional geoscience programs to interdisciplinary approaches in chemistry, physics, or biology departments.
Successful strategies include extensive outreach programs, scholarship opportunities, clear articulation agreements between community colleges and universities, peer and faculty mentoring, access to tutoring or other academic support programs, and tailoring courses within the geoscience program to careers students can pursue with an undergraduate degree.