Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Guillermo Montes

Second Supervisor

Richard DeJesus-Rueff


Graduating well educated students in STEM disciplines has become a national priority, particularly as the nation looks to maintain its global competitiveness in light of continuing racial and ethnic disparities affecting graduation rates. This correlational study examined the differences in institutional success in raising the graduation rates of underrepresented minority students (URMs) in STEM disciplines at 20 selected institutions within a large system of public higher education. The study used secondary data available from both the system’s Office of Institutional Research and the Federal IPEDS reports. Results of the study identified selected institutions that performed the highest at graduating URMs in STEM. The study also revealed that several institutional factors (Pell Grant Aid, faculty salaries, expenditures and average student age) were not significantly associated with URMs graduation rates. A positive correlation was found between SAT scores, high school GPA and URM STEM graduation rates. These precollege student achievement factors were most prevalent at the highly selected institutions in the study which also had the highest URM STEM graduation rates.

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