Native STEM Portraits (NSP)

NSP is a longitudinal study on the experiences of Native STEM students, faculty, and professionals and the barriers and supports they encounter in STEM.

Lead Staff:
Mia Ong
Nuria Jaumot-Pascual
Project Staff:
Christina B. Silva
Lisette Torres-Gerald

Summary

This longitudinal study seeks to investigate the experiences and stories of Native STEM students, faculty, and other professionals in order to identify and make visible how they encounter, navigate, respond to, and are changed by the cultures, systems, and processes that either support or hinder the persistence of Native individuals in STEM higher education. The project particularly focuses on the fields of computer sciences and engineering; biological sciences; and mathematics, physics, and earth sciences.

Research Activity

This research has three interconnected research tracks:

  1. Track 1: Foundational Information – The team does a scoping review of the literature to search for relevant and representative literature that examines the current landscape of research on the recruitment and retention of Native students in undergraduate, graduate and professional programs in computer sciences and engineering; biological sciences; and mathematics, physics, and earth sciences.
  2. Track 2: Native Experiences in STEM Education – The team conducts a longitudinal mixed methods study, including surveys and photo elicitation interviews, with Native undergraduate and graduate students in STEM as well as Native STEM professionals.
  3. Track 3: Systemic and Contextual Data – The team conducts interviews with Native and non-Native faculty, staff, and administrators about their experiences with providing supports to Native students in STEM. The team also meets with institutional partners to share findings and conduct interpretive focus groups.

Impact

This project provides a nuanced understanding of the Native STEM experience and a deeper understanding of the challenges and supports specific to Native students and professionals in STEM. The project will inform areas for future research and help to identify promising practices that others can implement. Specifically, it allows the team to give research-based recommendations to colleges and universities on the recruitment and retention of Native students in STEM.

Video

First slide of NSP presentation