Traveling the road to success: A discourse on persistence throughout the science pipeline with African American students at a predominantly white institution

Authors

  • Melody L. Russell,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Curriculum and Teaching, Auburn University, 5004 Haley Center, Auburn University, Alabama 36849
    • Department of Curriculum and Teaching, Auburn University, 5004 Haley Center, Auburn University, Alabama 36849.
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  • Mary M. Atwater

    1. Department of Mathematics and Science Education, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia
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Abstract

This study focuses on 11 African American undergraduate seniors in a biology degree program at a predominantly white research institution in the southeastern United States. These 11 respondents shared their journeys throughout the high school and college science pipeline. Participants described similar precollege factors and experiences that contributed to their academic success and persistence at a predominantly white institution. One of the most critical factors in their academic persistence was participation in advanced science and mathematics courses as part of their high school college preparatory program. Additional factors that had a significant impact on their persistence and academic success were family support, teacher encouragement, intrinsic motivation, and perseverance. © 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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