The United Negro College Fund (UNCF) reports that the number of Black people studying and working in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields has steadily increased, largely due to the efforts of historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
HBCUs across the nation have accounted for much of the progress in workforce diversity, with 25% of Black graduates with STEM degrees coming from HBCUs.
In more recent years, HBCUs graduated 46% of Black women who earned degrees in STEM and they account for almost 30% of Black graduates of science and engineering doctorate programs. Although there has been progress, statistics show that there is still a clear need for growth.
Both Black and white students across the nation intend to pursue STEM degrees at similar rates, but Black students struggle to achieve comparable representation when it comes to earning a degree.
The UNCF has come up with a plan to help increase the numbers even more, and it starts with preparing first-generation, low-income Black students by providing them with proper resources and guidance that they often lack before getting to college.
UNCF published A Seat at the Table: African American Youth’s Perceptions of K-12 Education, as a part of their research series to examine the perspectives of low-income Black youth on their educational aspirations, barriers to achievement, and priorities.
The report explains that K-12 education should implement improved school-based practices in order to increase Black student achievement, as well as other remedies.