Journal of Education & Social Policy

ISSN 2375-0782 (Print) 2375-0790 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/jesp

Recruitment Strategies for Broadening Participation Programs in STEM
Lawrence O. Flowers, Ph.D.

Increasing the diversity of the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce has been an elusive national goal for many years. A potential solution to better prepare underrepresented students for science and engineering careers are broadening participation programs. Broadening participation programs in STEM are designed to improve students’ education and professional outcomes. Broadening participation programs have produced several decades of promising data that highlight the utility of these initiatives to generate positive academic and occupational outcomes for underserved students. Effective recruitment techniques that result in the attainment of program enrollment goals are paramount. Despite the importance of participant recruitment to a program’s success, there are very few scholarly publications that address the issue of recruitment techniques designed to satisfy enrollment aims. Technological advances in the last twenty years have significantly improved worldwide communications. A variety of promising communication tools have afforded broadening participation program directors more opportunities to market their program and recruit participants from around the world. This article focuses on applicable traditional and online STEM program recruitment tactics that have shown to yield positive results in student enrollment. This article also calls for the increase in statistically robust research studies that seek to determine the effect of a specific recruitment strategy on recruitment goal attainment with respect to gender, ethnicity, geography, and educational level.

Full Text: PDF