Abstract

Abstract:

While nearly half (40%) of Black students leave STEM disciplines, and racialized and gendered social and environmental factors play a role in STEM pathways of Black women, less known is how relationships and critical social capital facilitate undergraduate STEM success. Using a critical narrative approach, we explored how strong relationships at Spelman College helped Black women thrive in STEM degree programs at HBCUs and beyond. Findings focused on three out of 105 narratives suggest that Black women strategically created dynamic webs of support that included families, faculty, and administrators in and out of STEM disciplines, often leading to increased opportunities and a greater likelihood of persistence.

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