The effect of instructor race and gender on student persistence in STEM fields
The objective of this study is to determine if minority and female students are more likely to persist in a science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) major when they enroll in classes taught by instructors of their own race or gender. Using data from public 4-year universities in the state of Ohio, I analyze first semester STEM courses to see if the race or gender of the instructor effects persistence of initial STEM majors in a STEM field after the first semester and first year. Results indicate that black students are more likely to persist in a STEM major if they have a STEM course taught by a black instructor. Similar to previous findings, female students are less likely to persist when more of their STEM courses are taught by female instructors.
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