Author: Bottia, Martha C., Stearns, Elizabeth, Mickelson, Roslyn A., Moller, Stephanie, & Valentino, Lauren

Title: Growing the Roots of STEM Majors: Female Math and Science High School Faculty and the Participation of Students in STEM

University Affiliation: University of North Carolina at Charlotte


Research Question: What is the role of the demographics of high school faculty, more specifically the proportion of female math and science teachers, on college students’ decisions to declare and/or major in STEM?

Published: Yes

Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation: Economics of Education Review

Journal Entry: Vol. 45 Pp. 14-27

Year: 2015


  1. There is a positive and significant relationship between proportion female math and science teachers and students 'chances of declaring physical sciences, engineering and/or mathematics as a major.
  2. Men are more likely to declare a PSEM (physical sciences, engineering, and mathematics) than women, although women are more likely to declare biological sciences as majors.
  3. Attending a school with a higher proportion of female math and science teachers is related to a significant increase in the chances of declaring, physical sciences, engineering, or mathematics as a major, particularly for female students.
  4. The influence of proportion of female math and science teachers is even stronger for students’ odds of graduating with a STEM major than for a students’ chances of declaring a STEM major.
  5. In the case of high skilled women, their chance of graduating with a biology and PSEM major increase 44% when they move from attending a school that has a proportion of female math and science teachers of .54 to one that has a proportion of female math and science teachers of .72 (1 s.d. above the mean distribution of female math.
  6. The proportion White of a school has a negative significant relationship for students odds of declaring a STEM major and graduating in STEM.
  7. For almost all subsamples, proportion of free and reduced lunch students has no significant association with declaring a STEM major or graduating in STEM.
  8. The results suggest that although the proportion of female math and science teachers at a school has no impact on male students, it has a powerful effect on female students’ likelihood of declaring and graduating with a STEM degree, and effects are largest for female students with the highest math skills.

Scholarship Type Journal Article Empirical Research

Keywords: College, Occupational Outcomes, Outcomes, Racial Composition, SES Composition, STEM Major, Teachers

Regions South

Methodologies: Quantitative

Research Designs: Survey

Method of Analysis: Multilevel Models, Multinomial Logistic Regression

Sampling Frame: 2004 North Carolina Public School Graduates

Sample Types: Population

Unit of Analysis: College, School, Student

Data Types: Quantitative-Longitudinal

Data Description:

Relevance: Links high school composition to majoring in STEM.

Entry Created at: 2016-01-27 00:52:39 UTC
Last Update: 2017-06-19 18:59:31 UTC