News FocusU.S. HIGHER EDUCATION

Minority Retention Rates in Science Are Sore Spot for Most Universities

Science  12 Jun 2009:
Vol. 324, Issue 5933, pp. 1386-1387
DOI: 10.1126/science.324_1386a

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Summary

Although minority students entering U.S. colleges are just as interested as their white peers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), they are only two-thirds as likely as whites to earn bachelor's degrees in those fields within 6 years. The Meyerhoff program at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, has tried to address the high attrition rates among minority students (predominantly African-Americans and Hispanics) who declare an interest in STEM. The 16-year-old Biology Scholars Program at the University of California, Berkeley, has also succeeded in helping underrepresented minorities make it through college. But why haven't more universities been able to match their success?