Broadening participation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) is a national imperative. Across the United States, African American males are frequently underrepresented in STEM.
Using social capital theory as a conceptual framework, this study, drawing on a larger National Science Foundation formerly-funded research project, examined the factors that significantly influence African American males’ academic and career decisions to pursue STEM at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Numerous themes emerged from the biographical questionnaires, individual interviews, and focus group interviews, such as (a) familial influence and encouragement, (b) K–12 academic experiences, (c) educational interest and career aspirations, (d) academic experiences in college, and (e) relationships with peers, teachers, and college professors. Based on the findings of this research, Based on the study’s findings, implications for educational practice and policy are offered.
Dr. James L. Moore III is the interim vice provost for Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer at The Ohio State University, while serving as the first executive director of the Todd Anthony Bell National Resource Center on the African American Male. Dr. Moore is also the inaugural EHE Distinguished Professor of Urban Education in the College of Education and Human Ecology. From 2015 to 2017, he served as a program director for Broadening Participation in Engineering in the Engineering Directorate at the National Science Foundation in Arlington, Virginia, and, from 2011 to 2015, he was an associate provost for Diversity and Inclusion at The Ohio State University, where he managed numerous programs and units.
Dr. Moore is internationally-recognized for his work on African American males. His research agenda focuses on school counseling, gifted education, urban education, higher education, multicultural education/counseling, and STEM education., and he is frequently quoted, featured, or mentioned in popular publications, such as the New York Times, Columbus Dispatch, Spartanburg Herald, Cincinnati Enquirer, Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, Chronicle of Higher Education, and Diverse: Issues in Higher Education. Dr. Moore has co-edited five books: (a) African American Students in Urban Schools: Critical Issues and Solutions for Achievement; (b) African American Male Students in PreK-12 Schools: Informing Research, Policy, and Practice; (c) Black Males and Intercollegiate Athletics: An exploration of Problems and Solutions; (d) Advancing Educational Outcomes in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics at Historically Black Colleges and Universities; and (e) Gifted Children of Color Around the World: Diverse Needs, Exemplary Practices and Directions for the Future. He has also published over 100 publications; obtained over $13 million in grants, contracts, and gifts; and given over 200 scholarly presentations and lectures throughout the United States and other parts of the world (e.g., Brazil, Bermuda, Jamaica, Canada, England, Spain, China, India, Indonesia, and France).