Inclusive STEM High School Factors Influencing Ethnic Minority Students’ STEM Preparation

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ethnic minority students, inclusive STEM high schools, STEM schools, T-STEM academies, underrepresented students


The purpose of this study was to better understand school factors influencing ethnic minority students’ science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) preparation in Inclusive STEM High Schools (ISHSs). The researchers conducted a phenomenological study that used semi-structured interviews with participants (N=13) who graduated from ISHSs in Texas. Participants’ STEM high school experiences were classified into nine categories: a) innovative STEM and non-STEM instruction, b) rigorous STEM curriculum, c) integration of technology and engineering in classrooms, d) quality of teachers, e) real-world STEM partnership, f) informal STEM opportunities, g) academic and social support for struggling students, h) emphasis on STEM courses, majors, and careers, and i) preparation for a college workload. These characteristics can be helpful for schools to establish a STEM-focused school environment and have the potential to cultivate positive experiences for ethnic minority students to increase their interest and capabilities in STEM fields.


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Author Biographies

Ali Bicer, University of Wyoming

After Ali Bicer graduated from high school, he was admitted to the Mathematics Department at Celal Bayar University in 2002 and graduated in 2006. After graduation, he worked as a high school mathematics teacher three years. In  2008, he applied for a Ministry of National Education Scholarship to pursue master’s and doctoral degrees in Mathematics Education. In 2009, he attended the Intensive English Language  Program  of  Indiana University  in  Bloomington. After he completed his English Language Program, he started his masters in Mathematics Education at Texas A&M University and graduated in May 2012. He then began work on his PhD in Mathematics Education at Texas A&M University. He has served as the STEM Summer Camp Assistant Director for two years. In addition, he has taught students in the camp as well as assisting with teacher professional development. His honors include the Lechner Scholarship and the College of Education Graduate Strategic Support Scholarship. As a graduate student, he has distinguished himself through his extensive publications on STEM teaching and learning and has participated in the writing of several grant proposals. During his education he attended several educational research conferences including AERA, NCTM, and SERA. He earned several publications including journal articles, book chapters, and conference proceedings. In 2016, he graduated from Texas A&M University as a graduate student who had the highest number of publications in the program so far. After receiving his PhD in Mathematics Education from Texas A&M University, he started working as a postdoctoral research assistant in Aggie STEM at Texas A&M University. As of today, he is both teaching mathematics education courses and conducting rigorous research in the field at Texas A&M University. With his background, he is on track to become a successful mathematics educator and scholar.

Yujin Lee, University of North Dakota

Curriculum design and evaluation in STEM education, STEM teacher professional identity, affective mathematics engagement, innovative instructional practices, and large-scale national/international data

Celal Perihan, Idaho State University

Educational Psychology; emotional behavior disorders and positive behavioral support.


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How to Cite

Bicer, A., Lee, Y., & Perihan, C. (2020). Inclusive STEM High School Factors Influencing Ethnic Minority Students’ STEM Preparation. Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Studies, 7(2), 147–172.



Original Manuscript
Received 2020-06-15
Accepted 2020-07-05
Published 2020-07-11

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