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Are Black Colleges Boosting Minority Representation in the Sciences?

Science, technology, engineering, and math—or STEM—fields notoriously lack racial diversity; Hispanics, African Americans and Native Americans make up 26 percent of the country’s workforce but only 10 percent of STEM positions. To change this disparity, many organizations and individuals have endeavored to engage students in STEM at all stages of their academic lives. College is often the culmination of these efforts, the point at which students decide if they want to pursue careers in the sciences. To succeed, they need both technical skills and “soft skills” like communication and professionalism.

Historically Black Colleges and Universities are providing exactly that: With finite resources, they prepare thousands of minority students for careers in STEM every year, trying to minimize the obstacles that these students will almost certainly face because of their background.