Date of Award

2018

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Department

Educational Studies

Sub-Department

College of Education

First Advisor

Suha Tamim

Abstract

African Americans are underrepresented at all points in the STEM pipeline from K-12 coursework into professional careers. The reasons for this underrepresentation are varied and reflect a myriad of contributing factors based on early academic experiences, sociocultural influences, and the effects of standardized testing. The three-fold purpose of this study was to implement a counseling program to inform nine African American study participants about the dual enrollment opportunity at their high school, to gain perspective about the factors which shaped their STEM disposition, and to determine the effect of the program on their attitudes about dual enrollment participation. The study employed qualitative methods to collect data from surveys, interviews, field notes, and observations. The data analysis was grounded in four theoretical constructs: Critical Race, Self-Efficacy, Sociocultural, and Culturally Relevant Pedagogy Theory. The study findings indicated that the participants’ STEM disposition could be attributed to a broad range of factors, with some of the most significant of these being ineffective teachers, limited access to meaningful STEM learning experiences, narrowed curriculum options, and an inadequate supply of role models.

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