The African American Student's Guide to STEM Careers

by Robert T. Palmer, Andrew T. Arroyo, and Alonzo M. Flowers III
Foreword by Fred A. Bonner II


Increasing the access and success of minority students in STEM is not only critical to our nation's success; it's a moral imperative.

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Cover image for The African American Student's Guide to STEM Careers

December 2016


Pages 181
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Race and Ethnicity/African American Studies
  Current Events and Issues/Education

This book comprehensively reviews the factors that facilitate access and success of Black students in STEM majors in higher education, and it shares compelling testimonies from Black STEM professionals that will help inspire the next generation of Black scientists and engineers.

Most experts agree that America's success depends on having a workforce that is highly prepared in STEM areas. Unfortunately, students of color continue to be underrepresented in higher education, and specifically, in completing degrees and entering careers within the STEM fields. This book supports African American students (as well as all students) who are interested in STEM careers, providing information on the top colleges with STEM-related programs, particularly those that best support racially diverse students; practical advice for preparing for entrance into STEM programs; and inspirational stories of successful African Americans in STEM-related careers.

Authored by three educators expert in the areas of academic development of African Americans and minorities, STEM, and higher education, The African American Student's Guide to STEM Careers focuses on preparing Black students for STEM from K–12 through graduate school. Readers will more fully appreciate the importance of STEM, recognize why more Black students need to be more actively engaged in these disciplines, and understand how to prepare Black students for success in STEM throughout the educational pipeline.


  • Addresses how African American students can plan and prepare for a career in STEM, choose a college and STEM program, pay for college, choose their major, continue to graduate school, and choose a career in STEM
  • Discusses the importance of Black students being more engaged in STEM and identifies ways to prepare them for success in the STEM fields from K–12 to graduate school
  • Highlights ways educators can formulate actionable plans to help increase the success of Black students in STEM
  • Presents personal testimonies from professionals in STEM that will inspire the next generation of Black scientists and engineers
Author Info

Robert T. Palmer, PhD, is associate professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Howard University. His research examines issues of access, equity, retention, persistence, and the college experience of racial and ethnic minorities, particularly within the context of historically Black colleges and universities. Part of his research has investigated the experiences of racial and ethnic minority students in STEM. Palmer's work has been published in leading journals in higher education, such as Journal of College Student Development, Teachers College Record, Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, Journal of Negro Education, College Student Affairs Journal, Journal of College Student Retention, The Negro Educational Review, and Journal of Black Studies, among others. Since earning his doctorate in 2007, he has authored or coauthored well over 100 academic publications. Palmer recently received the SUNY Chancellor's award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities.

Andrew T. Arroyo, EdD, is associate professor of interdisciplinary studies and codirector for learning communities at Norfolk State University, a public historically Black institution. He is also an affiliate with the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions. Arroyo's specializations include higher education, philosophy, and religion. One of his professional interests is exploring the relationship between science and ethics. Prior to becoming a professor, Arroyo spent 13 years in for-profit and non-profit community-based work. He is coauthor of the forthcoming book, Black Female College Students: A Guide to Student Success in Higher Education. His published work has appeared in journals such as Journal of Transformative Education, Teaching Theology & Religion, American Journal of Education, and Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory, and Practice, among others.

Alonzo M. Flowers III, PhD, is assistant professor in the School of Education at Drexel University. He specializes in educational issues, including academic identity development of African American and Latino males in STEM education. He also focuses on issues including diversity, teaching and learning, and college student development. Specifically, Flowers' research focuses on the academic experiences of academically gifted African American male students in the STEM disciplines and impacts the needs of underrepresented students in education. He was selected to join The Massachusetts Institute for College and Career Readiness (MICCR) at Boston University as a Senior Research Fellows program. To date, he has completed 40 peer-reviewed national conference presentations, including several presentations at the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) and American Educational Research Association (AERA). In 2014, Flowers served as one of the keynote speakers at the first annual Texas African American Males in College Achievement & Success Symposium. Flowers is also a member of the editorial board of The Journal of Race and Policy. Additionally, he is a reviewer for several educational journals, including Journal of African American Males in Education (JAAME). He authored or coauthored several book chapters and articles that focus on students of color and their academic experiences. Flowers has presented at several local, state, national, and international conferences.



"The African American Student's Guide to STEM Careers is a practical tool for professionals working with African American students as well as other students of color. Counselors and admissions personnel, teachers and faculty members, policy-makers, and administrators will gain insight into best practices for supporting underrepresented students in the STEM areas of study. Students considering this path to a career will also find this resource a conduit to more information. Recommended."

"Along with including contact information for schools and support systems, this volume incorporates personal narratives from men and women who are entering or engaged in STEM careers. A nuts and bolts reference book for students, parents, and educators of high school through graduate students."Library Journal

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