Modeling Successful Inclusive STEM High Schools: An Analysis of Students? College Entry Indicators in Texas
MetadataShow full item record
This dissertation highlights a conceptual framework for specialized Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) schools and the college readiness of Inclusive STEM High School graduates in comparison to traditional high school graduates. In reviewing the literature, I found the current perception for specialized STEM schools can be described as unique environments including advanced curriculum, expert teachers, and opportunities for internships and immersion. Finding from the studies exploring college and career readiness of students attending these schools revealed students from specialized STEM schools are performing slightly better on high-stake mathematics and science tests in comparison with students in traditional schools. Studies also showed students from specialized STEM schools are more interested in STEM, more willing to attend classes, more likely to pass state tests, and more likely to earn college degrees. After synthesizing the literature, I created a conceptual framework of effective learning environments for specialized STEM schools using an ecology metaphor. In answering the research questions related to success of students attending either T-STEM or traditional schools, I concluded success on reading, mathematics, science high-stake tests for students does not differ by school type. However, student demographic variables (i.e., gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and special education status) may influence success of students attending T-STEM schools. For example, results revealed statistical significance between male, Hispanic, White, and economically disadvantaged students from T-STEM and traditional schools on reading, mathematics, and science scores. In answering the research question related to success of T-STEM in comparison with traditional schools, I found no statistical significance in measures of schools? success. However, regardless of school type, female students performed better on reading scores whereas male students performed better on mathematics and science scores. In addition, White and Asian students outperformed all other ethnic groups on performance measures. Also, economically disadvantaged students and students in special education program were outperformed by students not identified as disadvantaged or learning disabled. On school level indicators, regardless of school type, dropout rate negatively associated with students? reading, mathematics, and science scores. In addition, percentage of students taking AP/IB end of course exam had a positive association with reading, mathematics, and science scores. Finally, percentage of students taking SAT/ACT also demonstrated a positive association with reading and mathematics scores, but not science scores. In conclusion, specialized STEM schools can be the solution to the problem of shortages in the STEM workforce; however, there still work remains.