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Strategies to Enhance the Role of HBCUs in Increasing the Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Medical (STEMM) Workforce

Strategies to Enhance the Role of HBCUs in Increasing the Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Medical (STEMM) Workforce
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Author(s): Japera Johnson (Morehouse School of Medicine, USA), Tiffany Jones (Southern Education Foundation, USA), Georges Haddad (Howard University, USA), Clyde Wilcox (Georgetown University, USA) and Judith K. (Gwathmey) Wilcox (Boston University School of Medicine, USA)
Copyright: 2016
Pages: 23
Source title: Setting a New Agenda for Student Engagement and Retention in Historically Black Colleges and Universities
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Charles B. W. Prince (Howard University, USA) and Rochelle L. Ford (Syracuse University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0308-8.ch007



Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have a long history of student engagement and institutional commitment to developing STEMM degrees. To become even better at fostering a diverse STEMM field, HBCUs must assess their strengths, weaknesses and challenges as well as opportunities in order to remain competitive in the 21st century. This chapter explores factors related to improving STEMM student academic preparation, retention and engagement. The authors provide recommendations to enhance experiential learning and offer educational pathways that lead to long-term retention and engagement of minority students. Furthermore, in the face of the need to advance and diversify the scientific workforce, we examine whether and how specific institutional contexts shape student interactions with faculty and institutional cultures. Historically black colleges and universities have played an important role in diversifying the Science Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Medicine (STEMM) workforce. In this paper we offer practical suggestions to clarify and strengthen their roles in student recruitment, retention, engagement, and advancement in STEMM. Preparatory summer institutes give minority students access to curriculum, tutoring, research opportunities, psycho-social support while encouraging the development of peer and faculty relationships. Such institutes nurture a successful socialization of minority students into STEMM disciplines. Dual admissions between two year and four year degree granting institutions will likely enhance student retention. Institutional agents and mentors play a major role by providing experiential learning opportunities that capture and retain students' interests. A combination of experiential learning, dual articulation, and the creation of strong and engaged institutional agents as well as mentors will likely facilitate student retention and successful integration into a larger STEMM network.

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