The Research Catalogue
New Findings and Insights on Institutional Practices and Academic Success
This is a digest of sources on issues addressed by the AAAS Capacity Center. It is updated periodically, sometimes with commentary. Web links, some accessible only to subscribers, are provided wherever possible, though we cannot assure their viability.
Affirmative Action Now: A Guide for Students, Families, and Counselors, James A. Beckman, Greenwood Press, 2006.
Beckman's book "addresses the state of affirmative action in higher education after the landmark Supreme Court decisions Gratz v. Bollinger and Grutter v. Bollinger in 2003, and explains and demystifies the use of affirmative action in admissions and financial aid decisions at the college and university level since then." The second half of the book provides concrete advice for college applicants and parents, offering 15 rules to consider in "navigating the affirmative action maze in the admissions process." It also provides general research aids and resources to students, families, and counselors including tables that show the degree of racial diversity in colleges and universities following the decision of June 2003.
Planning Early Careers in Science, Robert H. Tai, Christine Qi Liu, Adam V. Maltese, Xitao Fan, Science 26 May 2006: 1143-1144, http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/reprint/312/5777/1143.pdf
A study by Tai et al . examines how early students decide to pursue a science-related career by age 30. Academic background and characteristics, student demographics, and parents'' background are controlled for in this analysis. The study found that eighth graders who expected to have a career in science were 1.9 times more likely to earn life science baccalaureate degrees and 3.4 times more likely to earn physical science and engineering degrees than those who did not. There has been much focus "on raising test scores and promoting advanced courses at later ages." However, the importance of early encouragement, and not just academic preparation, should not be overlooked.
DIVERSITY: Preparing Minority Scientists and Engineers, Michael F. Summers and Freeman A. Hrabowski III, Science 31 May 2006: 1870-1871, http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/reprint/311/5769/1870.pdf
UMBC's Meyerhoff Scholars Program "focuses on producing bachelor's degree recipients, particularly African Americans, who go on to doctoral programs in science and engineering." Students who accepted the offer to enter the program were twice as likely to earn a science or engineering bachelor''s degree and 5.3 times more likely to enroll in post-college graduate study than students who declined the offer. Summers and Hrabowski go over the 4 overarching objectives of the Meyerhoff model and identifies 5 elements to achieve them. The undergraduate program involves mentorship, summer and other workshops, and targets high-achieving high school students to improve participation of underrepresented minorities in science. The Meyerhoff Program features one of the most documented longitudinal databases.
The Representation of Minorities Among Regular Rank Faculty: Report of the UC President's Task Force on Faculty Diversity, University of California , May 2006.
The University of California President's 10-member Task Force on Faculty Diversity reviews the current status of faculty diversity at UC and what is being done to address the issue. Five recommendations were identified in response to the needs of the increasingly diverse state: 1) leadership; 2) academic planning; 3) resource allocation and faculty rewards; 4) faculty recruitment and retention; and 5) accountability. Teams of faculty, academic administrators, and Senate leaders from each campus will develop campus strategies to follow up on these Task Force recommendations.
Revitalizing the Nation's Talent Pool in Stem, Beatriz Chu Clewell, Clemencia Cosentino de Cohen, Lisa Tsui, and Nicole Deterding, The Urban Institute, 2006, http://www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/311299_revitalizing_stem.pdf
The Urban Institute evaluates NSF''s Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Program established to increase the quality and quantity of minority students who successfully complete baccalaureate degrees in STEM, and who continue on to graduate studies in these fields. The report summarizes the main conclusions of the evaluation and provides a set of recommendations for its implementation and replication. The Urban Institute finds that the program has met or exceeded its stated goals.
Bayer Facts of Science Education XII: CEO on STEM Diversity: The Need, The Seed, The Feed , 2006, http://www.bayerus.com/msms/news/facts.cfm?mode=detail&id=survey06
This year's Bayer Facts survey examines the diversity issue from the point of view of 100 CEOs and other executives from emerging STEM companies. CEOs are concerned about the rising competitions for scientific and technical workers and fear that their company's international competitors will gain a competitive advantage. While many acknowledge the lack of women, African-American, Native American and Hispanic American STEM workers, "they appear not to fully recognize the untapped talent pool embodied by these underrepresented groups."
A Particular Resiliency to Threatening Environments, Michael Inzlicht, Joshua Aronson, Catherine Good, Linda McKay, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology May 2006: 323-336. Source: "Segregated Classrooms," CPST Comments June 2006, www.cpst.org
A study finds that subjecting female or black students to stereotypes when they are outnumbered by their counterparts can impair intellectual performance, but may prompt others to higher levels of achievement. This resilience "suggests that the debate surrounding segregated schools or classrooms for black or female students requires more nuanced solutions." This resiliency is examined in the context of inter-group contact, stereotype threat, and stress and coping.