Rural HSI and eHSI Colleges Consensus Report

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The goal of this paper is to provide an understanding of STEM education challenges in Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) located in rural areas. In the Fall of 2020, approximately seventy representatives from thirty 2-year HSIs and emerging HSIs documented their needs, barriers, successes, and priorities during a virtual Rural HSI Conference sponsored by the National Science Foundation. Recommendations related to funding, cultural responsiveness, the role of mentorship and technology to strengthen STEM programming emerged from the conference data collected and will be provided in this paper. A collaborative thematic analysis of conference data conducted by researchers from three different institutions identified nine themes that emerged from the three-day conference encompassing internal and external factors that impacted students, institutions, and communities. Three themes emerged that were specific to the student category and included systemic barriers within STEM courses and programs, difficulty in providing experiential learning for students, and the need for mentors and role models. Themes unique to the institutional level category included collaboration across K-12, two-year, and four-year institutions and institutional identity as HSIs. Other salient themes emerged for the student and institutional category including economic barriers, lack of access to technology, and barriers to data and research. Lastly, a theme on the external funding inequities was grouped into the community category and provided insight into the inequities related to securing grant funding. These themes shine light on some of the factors that impact rural HSI/eHSIs' ability to develop and sustain STEM programs while also providing ideas for addressing these challenges. Educators and administrative leaders at rural HSIs can interpret and implement the themes within the context of their own institutions. Themes also inform funders who seek targeted areas and equitable opportunities where they can invest in building STEM education capacity at rural HSIs. In this paper, the different themes derived from the conference data and three specific focus areas from those themes will be shared along with the recommendations for developing and sustaining STEM programs, collaborating on data analysis, and increasing the intentionality with which we serve Latinx students in pursuing STEM pathways. Implications for future practice related to culturally responsive practices and equitable efforts will be included in response to the recommendations provided from the conference.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Aug 23 2022
Event129th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Excellence Through Diversity, ASEE 2022 - Minneapolis, United States
Duration: Jun 26 2022Jun 29 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


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