Document Type



Doctor of Education


Educational Practice

Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

Dr. Helene J. Sherman


Dr. Helene J. Sherman, Chairperson

Dr. Charles R. Granger

Dr. Keith W. Miller



Students with disabilities, minorities, and women are underrepresented in the critical demand courses of study in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) undergraduate college enrollment. Institutions of higher education in the United States of America are challenged with a continuous need for undergraduate students to choose and earn a STEM degree. The 2019 annual report of Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering indicated these groups continue to be disproportionately underrepresented relative to the U.S. population. In 2014, the U.S. Department of Education reported that upon graduation students studying mathematics in college have higher employment rates and salaries as compared to other college majors. National, federal, state, nonprofit, and private programs aimed at increasing underrepresented minority (URM) undergraduate degree completion and integrating student involvement through delivery of targeted programs are active in trying to meet this demand for STEM college to career. A causal comparative quantitative research design was utilized to analyze the program and degree completion of African American students at colleges and universities seeking an undergraduate degree in mathematics. The researcher used Alexander W. Astin’s theory of student involvement (1984) to examine elements of program delivery. The analyses indicate a statistically significant finding for degree completion at the colleges and universities which completed proposals and were awarded funding to initiate a program. The results of the independent samples t-test p < 0.001 and a Hedges’ g large effect size = 0.8 suggests that colleges and universities advocate to access and implement the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program to increase URM degree completion integrating as core the student involvement. Based on the results of the study, the future research of comparable programs for other underrepresented groups, such as students with disabilities and undergraduate majors, such as engineering are recommended.

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