Professor researching Hispanic students in STEM via NSF grant

by the College of Education at Illinois   /   Sep 21, 2016

Eboni Zamani-GallaherEboni Zamani-Gallaher, a professor in the Department of Education Policy, Organization & Leadership, will be the principal investigator in a study that seeks to advance knowledge beyond what is already known about underrepresented students studying in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math).

The nearly two-year research project, funded in the amount of nearly $300,000 by the National Science Foundation, will begin early next year.

The abstract of the project reveals there is a lack of literature on Hispanic-serving two-year institutions (HSIs). Zamani-Gallaher’s study, therefore, will explore what factors influence successful matriculation of underrepresented racial/ethnic minority students in STEM programs at HSI two-year colleges.

“The study will inform STEM pathways at two-year Hispanic-serving institutions by examining the individual and academic factors common to Hispanic students who transfer to STEM. I will be coupling data from the Education Longitudinal Study (ELS) and Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) to identify predictors of student persistence in STEM transfer and completion,” said Zamani-Gallaher, who is the director of the Office of Community College Research and Leadership.

Zamani-Gallaher said the study will utilize data mining techniques and case studies that will contribute to the empirical knowledge in the area she’s exploring.

The broader goal of the study, which is titled Transfer and the Undergraduate STEM Pipeline at Two-year Hispanic-Serving Institutions, will be to identify predictors of underrepresented racial/ethnic minority students’ persistence in STEM at the selected two-year institutions.

“The knowledge produced by this project could inform program offerings, individual STEM disciplines, transfer articulation agreements, and best practices across STEM disciplines within two-year institutions that serve Hispanic students and for community colleges in general,” Zamani-Gallaher said.