ITEST Data Brief: Project Strategies to Engage Underrepresented Populations

ITEST Data Brief: Project Strategies to Engage Underrepresented Populations


ITEST Data Brief Volume 2, Issue 1, January 2015

The ITEST program specifically targets its work toward engaging the participation of youth who have been traditionally underrepresented in post-secondary STEM education and the STEM workforce, including, but not limited to, “… women, underrepresented minorities (African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islanders) and persons with disabilities” (2014 NSF ITEST solicitation). How do projects do this?

A 2012 DataBrief describing the work of ITEST projects found that many ITEST projects do indeed target their services to underrepresented populations. Approximately 70% of projects in the 2011-2012 school year targeted African American students, Hispanic students, and/or students eligible for free or reduced price lunch. Other underrepresented populations were also targeted, albeit by a smaller number of projects. This DataBrief extends the previous findings by presenting data on how projects engage these participant populations. Specifically, the 2012-2013 MIS asked ITEST project leaders to describe the strategies they used to engage participants from underrepresented groups. The ITEST program funded 75 projects during the 2012–2013 school year and 64 projects completed the MIS. This DataBrief reports on the strategies described by project leaders and the patterns that emerged across projects.

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