Harvard Educational Review
  1. Summer 2011 Issue »

    Unique Challenges for Women of Color in STEM Transferring from Community Colleges to Universities

    Marie-Elena Reyes
    In this article, Marie-Elena Reyes presents the issues faced by women of color in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) as they transfer from community colleges to universities. Community colleges offer a great potential for diversifying and increasing participation of underrepresented groups in STEM. Many women of color enter higher education through community colleges, but transfer rates are low, and retention rates of transfer students into STEM at universities are lower still. Through interviews conducted with participants in the National Science Foundation–funded Futurebound program, Reyes reveals an atmosphere in which women of color transfer students experience attitudes and treatment signaling that they do not belong because of age, ethnicity, and gender as well as preconceptions that transfer students are not adequately prepared. Reyes proposes that programs and policies to integrate responses to these challenges could improve the transfer rates and retention of women of color into STEM fields.

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    Marie-Elena Reyes is an independent consultant who has served as an expert for the Engineering Equity Extension Service, a National Science Foundation grant to the National Academy of Engineering, providing consulting on gender research and faculty and staff development with respect to best practices in gender equitable engineering education. She has developed programs to increase the participation of women from underrepresented groups in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) while researching methods for infusing science education with gender and multicultural perspectives. Reyes’s areas of expertise include recruitment and retention of girls and women of color in STEM throughout the educational pathway K–20, transition for women from community college to university in STEM, community-based engineering design for retention of women in engineering, mentoring and leadership programs for women of color in STEM, and outreach STEM programs.
  2. Summer 2011 Issue


    Symposium: Unraveling the Double Bind
    Women of Color in STEM
    Editors of the Harvard Educational Review
    The Double Bind
    The Next Generation
    Lindsey E. Malcom and Shirley M. Malcom
    Inside the Double Bind
    A Synthesis of Empirical Research on Undergraduate and Graduate Women of Color in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
    Maria Ong, Carol Wright, Lorelle L. Espinosa, and Gary Orfield
    Pipelines and Pathways
    Women of Color in Undergraduate STEM Majors and the College Experiences That Contribute to Persistence
    Lorelle L. Espinosa
    Unique Challenges for Women of Color in STEM Transferring from Community Colleges to Universities
    Marie-Elena Reyes
    Symposium: Learning After Disaster
    Voices from Haiti and New Orleans
    Editors of the Harvard Educational Review
    Rebuilding a Country, Cultivating Local Capacity
    Interview with Fabienne Doucet and Louis Herns Marcelin
    Raygine DiAquoi
    Diasporic Lakou
    A Haitian Academic Explores Her Path to Haiti Pre- and Post-Earthquake
    Charlene Désir
    Race, Charter Schools, and Conscious Capitalism
    On the Spatial Politics of Whiteness as Property (and the Unconscionable Assault on Black New Orleans)
    Kristen L. Buras
    “There Is a Lot That I Want to Do”
    Reflections on the Relief Efforts in Haiti
    Raygine DiAquoi
    Who Dat Say (We) “Too Depraved to Be Saved”?
    Remembering Katrina/Haiti (and Beyond): Critical Studyin’ for Human Freedom
    Joyce King

    Book Notes

    Storytelling for Social Justice
    by Lee Anne Bell

    Quality Education as a Constitutional Right
    edited by Theresa Perry, Robert P. Moses, Joan T. Wynne, Ernesto Cortés Jr., and Lisa Delpit

    Black Youth Rising
    by Shawn A. Ginwright