Transforming STEM Education in Hispanic Serving Instituitons in the United States


This report serves as an executive summary of key recommendations that emerged from extensive analyses of critical needs, challenges, and opportunities related to improving STEM education in HSIs. Inputs were generated during a 2017 working conference convened, in part, to inform the development of a HSI program through the National Science Foundation (NSF). The conference was intentionally designed to maximize opportunities for collaboration among students, faculty, and administrators from both 2-year and 4-year HSIs.

Six major themes, encompassing 13 critical focus areas, emerged from our analyses. Subsequent sections of the report are organized by theme, beginning with an introduction to the theme and followed by critical focus areas within that theme:

Summary of Themes and Critical Focus Areas The following major themes and critical focus areas emerged from our analyses.

Advising, Mentoring, and Non-Academic Support Systems

1. Advising and mentoring systems are haphazard in focus and goals, and lack alignment with student needs

2. Non-academic support systems focused on family and community are key for equitable STEM success, yet severely underdeveloped

STEM Academic Structure and Related Support Systems

3. Structure and availability of top-tier STEM curricular offerings are inequitably designed for the success of non-traditional students

4. Academic support systems focused on STEM rigor and math readiness are not sufficient to support underrepresented minorities (URMs) and non-traditional students

Evidence-Based Pedagogies

5. Evidence-Based Pedagogies (EBPs), known to improve STEM achievement for diverse learners, are unevenly practiced across institutions

6. Where diverse EBPs are deployed in good numbers, scalability is behind

Equity, Diversity, and Culturally Responsive Practices

7. Culturally Responsive Practices (CRPs), known to enable and sustain academic interest and access for the students HSIs aim to serve, are inconsistently understood and practiced at HSIs

8. Where some CRPs exist, they are often non-STEM specific

9. CRPs are commonly viewed as tangential to the core academic mission

Research Experiences and High Impact Practices

10. High Impact Practices (HIPs) at HSIs are culturally isolated and not sufficiently inclusive

11. Resources at Research 1 (R1) HSIs are mostly inward-facing and not purposefully shared among co-located institutions and communities

Serving Hispanic Students at HSIs

12. Extramurally funded STEM programs are underutilized by the students HSIs seek to serve

13. Retention, persistence, and success are core charges of HSIs and their faculties, not just student responsibilities



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