Disparities in STEM Higher Education


This project examines gendered, racial-ethnic, socioeconomic, and school-level differences in the changing landscape of postsecondary STEM education among U.S. youth. Specifically, we investigate the effects of engagement, school resources, and opportunity structures on female and male college students’ persistence in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields (STEM). We use the most recent NCES longitudinal surveys of youth that presently follow students through postsecondary matriculation: ELS: 2002/12 and BPS: 2004/09. We use fixed-effects, HLM, propensity score matching, and growth models to estimate these pathways towards and away from scientific degrees. In addition, we compare patterns of enrollment and persistence in STEM higher education in the U.S. with patterns in Cambodia, a nation with a rapidly expanding system of higher education.