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Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering
SJR: 0.468 SNIP: 0.671 CiteScore™: 1.65

ISSN Imprimir: 1072-8325
ISSN On-line: 1940-431X

Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/JWomenMinorScienEng.2019026676
pages 185-209

BENEFITS OF COLLEGE SUPPORT PROGRAM PARTICIPATION FOR UNDERREPRESENTED STUDENTS ENROLLED IN MATHEMATICS-INTENSIVE COLLEGE MAJORS

Alison S. Marzocchi
California State University, Fullerton, California, USA, 92831

RESUMO

For decades, it has been known that student success in college mathematics is supported through opportunities to seek help and to work collaboratively with peers. Shifts in students' study habits could help to close the opportunity gap in mathematics for underrepresented students. But, how do we change study habits before it is too late—before underrepresented students have been systemically filtered out of the mathematics pipeline? To address this issue, the qualitative study reported here followed a cohort of mathematically inclined underrepresented students from their senior year of high school into their freshman year of college. The participants each expressed interest in mathematics-intensive majors prior to starting college and had together participated in a college outreach program in high school. Several participants chose to continue receiving support by enrolling in a college support program while others did not. A series of three one-on-one interviews was conducted with each participant at the end of their freshman year of college. Results indicate that the college support participants capitalized on crucial mechanisms for mathematics success—such as extra tutoring opportunities, the encouragement of collaborative learning, and extra academic advising—that were not utilized by the nonparticipants. This points to the value of college support programs in addressing the persistent opportunity gap in college mathematics.

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