Increasing the trickle: A proposed critical multiculturalist conceptual model to increase the pipeline to a more diverse STEM doctorate population

Allison Smith, Hugo A. García

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose: For several decades, human and financial resources have been the focus of academic institutions in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics fields of study because of low matriculation and graduation involving diverse student populations. However, there is a paucity of research about pathways to doctoral-level education and completion for these underrepresented populations. The purpose of this paper is to explore conceptually how STEM doctoral programs can implement a critical multiculturalist framework to recruit, increase persistence and completion to abate the attrition rate of women and students of color in doctoral programs. Design/methodology/approach: Through a critical multiculturalist framework, issues of access and attainment central to the pipeline of traditionally underrepresented populations in to the STEM fields are addressed in this paper in an effort to support equity and inclusion at the doctoral level. Approaching this issue through critical multiculturalism takes the issue of access and attainment beyond sheer numbers by addressing the limited opportunity of women and students of color to see themselves in graduate faculty within STEM. Findings: This paper reviews literature regarding the STEM pipeline’s “glass ceiling” that exists at the graduate level for students from marginalized communities, including gender and race. This paper proposes a multicultural doctoral persistence model. Originality/value: Despite the efforts of many institutions of higher education to diversify the STEM fields, a “glass ceiling” remains at the doctoral level. There appears to be a pipeline for women and minorities from K-12 to the undergraduate level, but the doctoral level has been largely left out of the conversation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-220
Number of pages15
JournalJournal for Multicultural Education
Volume12
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 13 2018

Keywords

  • Access
  • Diversity
  • Gender
  • Graduate education
  • STEM doctoral education
  • Students of color

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