Perceived Barriers to Higher Education in STEM among High-Achieving Underrepresented High School Students of Color

This study, presented at the American Educational Research Association annual conference in San Francisco (April 27-31, 2013), examined perceptions of internal and external barriers to higher education in STEM, perceptions of barriers by race and gender, and the relationship between perceived barriers and STEM aspirations among 152 high school students of color in a STEM intervention program. Findings demonstrated that despite academic ability, students perceived high levels of internal and external barriers to pursuing STEM in higher education, with female students perceiving significantly higher levels of internal and external barriers. In addition, these perceptions negatively impacted STEM career aspirations. Further research is needed to understand the long-term implications of perceived barriers in order to inform programming, research and practice on increasing opportunities for students of color in STEM. The report from the AERA proceedings is attached below.

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