!Claro, se puede! Critical resilience: A critical race perspective on resilience in the baccalaureate achievement of Latino/a engineering and life science students
Education - Higher
critical race theory
Committee ChairRhoades, Gary
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractAn under representation of Latino/as in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) still persists. In Rising Above the Gathering Storm , the National Academies sounded an alarm in response to data indicating a "troubling decline" in the number of U.S. citizens trained to become scientists and engineers at a time when the number of technical jobs is outpacing the rate of the U.S. workforce. The shrinking technical talent pipeline threatens the country's future in technology innovation, energy alternatives, national security, and education. This study purported to contextualize resilience and discern the cultural capital and persistence behaviors of STEM Latino/a students succeeding in two adverse environments--higher education and science and engineering. Through a critical race perspective the student cuentos were thematically analyzed. Student narratives were then triangulated with the narrative of the researcher--a Mexican American, first-generation college student, who pursued a life science bachelor's degree through the two institutions in this study. The theoretical framework was guided by Critical Race Theory, Resiliency, Persistence Theory, and Social Construction of Technology. The study consisted of a pilot survey and narrative inquiry. The survey contained pilot questions on the use and perception of information technologies in STEM education. The narrative inquiry was guided by critical race that enabled both positionality and storytelling through narratives and counter-narratives. Twenty-two Latino/a graduating seniors majoring in the biological sciences or engineering/engineering technology at a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) and a Predominantly-White Institution (PWI) in Texas were recruited. The narratives of these students were collected through one-time, semi-structured interviews during the last semester of their studies. Results from the study indicate that these Latino/a STEM students are conscious of their ethnicity; however, they are not critically conscious of the master narrative of what it means to be a Latino/a in a STEM discipline. These students have bought into the master narrative of colorblind science and engineering. The students understood that to succeed in STEM, they had to survive based on their proficiency with institutional norms, practices and cultures and then maintain a sense of self through a respect for their Latino culture.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Educational Policy Studies and Practice