Minority Students Fare Better On Inclusive Campuses
November 07, 2019

​Campuses that promote minority students' sense of belonging and validate their identities inside and outside of science classrooms can lead to improved diversity among students who pursue STEM fields, according to a new brief published by ACE and the National Center for Institutional Diversity at the University of Michigan.

The paper, “Achieving Diversity at the Intersection of STEM Culture and Campus Climate," was written by Kimberly A. Griffin, associate professor of student affairs at the University of Maryland.

Efforts to increase diversity in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) departments and programs will not be successful if students experience the larger campus community as hostile and discriminatory, according to the brief.

“We cannot move the needle and increase diversity in science without addressing the systemic challenges minority students face on their paths into and through higher education," Griffin writes.

Griffin says several researchers have begun to address how spaces outside of STEM departments and academic programs can have an impact on student success in STEM fields. As these studies show, programs that support students of color by recognizing that they function in multiple spaces simultaneously are far more effective than one-dimensional approaches.

The paper offers several recommendations to institutions:

  • Develop holistic initiatives that center on the unique needs and challenges facing minority students.
  • Intentionally consider unique institutional contexts as they develop policies and programs to promote diversity in STEM.
  • Acknowledge the critical role of faculty in the success of diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Click here to read the full paper.

Download the Brief (PDF)

More on Campus Climate and STEM

Series: Campus Climate and STEM Success
A Higher Education Today blog series from ACE and NCID​​