ABOUT THIS BOOK
Americans have access to some of the best science education in the world, but too often black students are excluded from these opportunities. This essential book by leading voices in the field of education reform offers an inspiring vision of how America’s universities can guide a new generation of African Americans to success in science.
Educators, research scientists, and college administrators have all called for a new commitment to diversity in the sciences, but most universities struggle to truly support black students in these fields. Historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) are different, though. Marybeth Gasman, widely celebrated as an education-reform visionary, and Thai-Huy Nguyen show that many HBCUs have proven adept at helping their students achieve in the sciences. There is a lot we can learn from these exemplary schools.
Gasman and Nguyen explore ten innovative schools that have increased the number of black students studying science and improved those students’ performance. Educators on these campuses have a keen sense of their students’ backgrounds and circumstances, familiarity that helps their science departments avoid the high rates of attrition that plague departments elsewhere. The most effective science programs at HBCUs emphasize teaching when considering whom to hire and promote, encourage students to collaborate rather than compete, and offer more opportunities for black students to find role models among both professors and peers.
Making Black Scientists reveals the secrets to these institutions’ striking successes and shows how other colleges and universities can follow their lead. The result is a bold new agenda for institutions that want to better serve African American students.
In order for our nation to compete in the twenty-first century, everyone with an interest in pursuing a career in STEM must have the fullest possible opportunity to receive a high-quality education. Gasman and Nguyen reveal the practices and policies that have been proven to be successful in guiding African American students to success in STEM education. It is imperative that academic institutional leaders and faculty take their recommendations seriously.
-- John Brooks Slaughter, University of Southern California
If Gasman and Nguyen’s recommendations are widely implemented, they will lead to greater success in increasing the number and the racial diversity of the nation’s scientists, engineers, mathematicians, and doctors—an important and noble goal.
-- Louis Sullivan, former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Founding Dean, Morehouse School of Medicine
The culture of science today may privilege individuality and competition as it dreams of meritocracy, but Gasman and Nguyen’s compilation of lessons from faculty in HBCUs present another way—one of creating equity through institutional responsibility and generosity, and of rethinking success in how we serve Black students.
-- Julie Posselt, author of Inside Graduate Admissions: Merit, Diversity, and Faculty Gatekeeping
This important book shatters myths about African American students in science. A stellar contribution and a must-read for those determined to increase Black access and success in STEM.
-- Walter R. Allen, University of California, Los Angeles
Provides a roadmap of actions within individual faculty members’ control and sustenance for students, faculty, and administrators engaging in the struggle for racial justice in STEM education.
-- Donna Riley Science
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Introduction: Race, Racism, and American Higher Education
1. The State of STEM in the United States
2. Institutional Responsibility
3. Peer-to-Peer Support and Intellectual Generosity
4. Messages and Examples of Inherent Inclusivity
5. Students’ Needs over Faculty Members’ Needs
6. Same-Gender, Same-Race Faculty Role Models
7. A Culture of Family
8. An Agenda for the Future of STEM