Students’ Perceptions of Barriers and Opportunities for STEM research: A study of freshmen students at an HBCU

By Francis Erebholo and Isi Ero-Tolliver
Hampton University

In this study, we examined Black freshmen undergraduate students’ perceptions of barriers and opportunities for research at an HBCU. Although there is literature about factors that support or limit students’ access and attitudes towards research among a broader population, very little is known about these factors for Black students in STEM at HBCUs. We administered an adapted Attitude Toward Research (ATR) survey to 74 Black freshmen in STEM. The  purpose of this study was to investigate and assess students’ attitudes towards research. Our results show students demonstrated positive attitudes towards research, acknowledged the usefulness of research to their field/career, and indicated interests in research activities with no difference in gender. Our study highlights the need to enhance student interest and exposure to STEM research.

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