Fall 2021

ESRP 9000 Professor

Gina L. Peyton

ESRP 9001 Professor

Gina L. Peyton

Executive Summary

STEM is the acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. Within the last several years, STEM has blossomed as a major profession throughout the United States. Careers in STEM have grown more than three times the rate of non-STEM jobs. This pace is not projected to slow down through the next decade. The challenge is that there is an underrepresentation of women of color or women in general in STEM related majors and careers. Research suggests that men have dominated the STEM majors, degree conferrals and careers in the last several years.

Understanding the rationale of what motivates both women and women of color to pursue a career in STEM is essential in identifying the gaps in interest, availability and opportunities. Through research of existing literature, it shows that women overwhelmingly lag behind men in representation in STEM fields. This strategic research project was designed to provide solutions for identifying and increasing strategies currently utilized at PROPEL, Inc., an after-school high school program geared towards increasing women and women of color in STEM fields at the undergraduate level. By analyzing the possibilities, barriers, and strategies evaluated, the data indicated that the mentoring support network provided a better strategy for addressing issues of mentorship among women in STEM. The mentoring support network provides opportunities for leadership, teamwork, collaboration building and strategies for the mentor and mentee in strengthening and encouragement. The action plan provides details on implementing the best solution for “what works” regarding increasing female students in effective academic programs in STEM. It is the recommendation of this study that recruiting and sustaining mentors within the STEM profession is vital to the success of the Propel mentorship program for women interested to and in the STEM field. Sequentially, this will increase mentors for women in the STEM fields per the needs of Propel America, Inc.

Document Type

Strategic Research Project-NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education