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Hidden Leaks in the Leaking STEM Pipeline: Retention within First-Generation Latinx Students in Baccalaureate STEM Programs at Predominately White Institutions

This research looks at retention within first-generation Latinx students in Baccalaureate science technology engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs at predominately white institutions (PWI). With very little work written on first-generation Latinx and their strive to complete their STEM education, this paper consists of an extensive literature review that focuses on the most common factors that cause and prevent high levels of attrition in STEM education. Factors include, but are not limited to high school preparation, stereotype threat, financial issues, identity, instruction methods, and institutionally implemented programs. Many of the factors were not unique to the students in the studies that were analyzed but were reoccurring factors in underrepresented minorities at PWIs. The findings demonstrate the lack of literature on the intersectional identity that is being first-generation Latinx in STEM, and at a PWI. The literature review presented lays the foundation for the beginning of a long-term research project that will continue for the next two years. Through an ethnographic approach, this research will center first-generation Latinx voices at various PWIs through surveys, focus groups, and interviews and thus attempting to shift the narrative to a bottom-top approach moving away from a deficit thinking.

Kevin Kandamby
Pitzer College
Chicana/o-Latina/o Studies / Mathematics
Research Advisor: 
Dr. Stafford Hood
Department of Research Advisor: 
Year of Publication: