Intersectional identity: factors impacting student odds of first semester STEM major declaration
Jacobs, Jonathan Daniel
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Though there is a large amount of literature on those who graduate from college with STEM degrees, there is a dearth of literature involving intersectional identity of college freshman who are considering entering STEM majors. This study seeks to begin the process of meeting the gaps in research. Data from the High School Longitudinal Study of 2009 (HSLS:2009) were analyzed using logistic regression; using listwise deletion, intersectional identities which impact odds of student declaring a STEM major were identified. Student race and ethnicity, student sex, student socio-economic status, teacher race and ethnicity, teacher sex, science utility, science interest, science self-efficacy, and science identity were the components of intersectional identity for this study. Student race, student socio-economic status, science self-efficacy, and science identity were statistically significant factors that increased student odds of entering college with as STEM degree (p<0.001). Students who were Asian had a statistically significant increase in odds over White students to enter college with a STEM degree. All other aspects of identity were not statistically significant. More research is needed in this field to gain a deeper understanding of how intersectional identity impacts a students' odds of declaring a STEM majors their first semester in college.