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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Developing Graduate Students of Color for the Professoriate in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)


This paper presents part of the results of a completed study entitled "A Longitudinal Study of Minority Ph.D.s from 1980-1990: Progress and Outcomes in Science and Engineering at the University of California during Graduate School and Professional Life." It focuses particularly on the graduate school experience and degree of preparation for the professoriate of African American doctoral students in the sciences and engineering, and presents the results of a survey of 33 African American STEM Ph.D.s from the University of California earned between 1980-1990. Relationships with thesis advisors and principal investigators are evaluated by the study participants in fifteen specific areas from highly-ranked intellectual development to low-ranked training in grant writing. Deficits in training and socialization are discussed along with the tension between being both an African American and a graduate student. Career choices and outcomes are presented. These findings, in conjunction with current analyses of graduate education in STEM, suggest ways in which graduate training for all could be improved.

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