STEM degree completion and first-generation college students: A cumulative disadvantage approach to the outcomes gap
STEM majors offer pathways to lucrative careers but are often inac-cessible to first-generation students. Using data from the Education Longitudinal Study, we conducted descriptive statistics, regression analyses, and group comparisons to examine differences between first-generation students and continuing-generation students across STEM degree, non-STEM degree, dropout, and no degree completion. Findings illuminate that generation status is related to STEM completion, but other factors are driving this association; for example, pre-college STEM factors have significant predictive power. Our implications suggest a need to further examine pre-college and transfer pathways to STEM and to explore the limitations of first-generation status as a categorization.
Review of Higher Education
Bettencourt, G., Manly, C., Kimball, E., & Wells, R. (2020). STEM degree completion and first-generation college students: A cumulative disadvantage approach to the outcomes gap. Review of Higher Education, 43 (3), 753-779. https://doi.org/10.1353/rhe.2020.0006