Collaborative Research: Systematic Review of Studies to Improve Success in STEM Degree Programs of Hispanic Students Matriculating through Two-year Institutions
This project is a comprehensive synthesis of existing primary studies of transfer of Hispanic students from 2-year to 4-year institutions. Although substantial research has identified cultural and socioeconomic challenges facing Hispanic students in higher education, much less is known about Hispanic STEM students, and virtually no large scale studies have studied Hispanic STEM transfer students specifically. The study will identify patterns of successes and failures of Hispanic STEM transfer students and identify factors related to effectiveness of interventions to promote transfer, retention, and graduation of Hispanic STEM undergraduates. This synthesis will contribute to achieving PCAST recommendations for a million more STEM graduates by 2018, supporting efforts within federal agencies to improve the success of under-represented students in STEM, and increasing knowledge about what works based on a comprehensive synthesis of published research.
The research question guiding this systematic review is: What student and contextual characteristics and interventions have prior studies identified as supporting successful transfer and STEM bachelor's degree completion of Hispanic students who matriculate at two-year institutions? A preliminary scoping review of several databases yielded 1,328 potential sources to inform this systematic review to develop a framework specific to Hispanic STEM transfer students. Most retention and transfer work has been based on a framework of social integration. A good example of this framework is: Vincent Tinto, "Leaving college: Rethinking the causes and cures of student attrition," Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993. This perspective has been found by some to be less relevant to Hispanic students. An example is the work of Tatiana Melguizo, "Are community colleges an alternative path for Hispanic students to attain a bachelor's degree?" Teachers College Record, Volume 110, No. 12, 2008.