The number of Hispanic students across college campuses in the U.S. has grown dramatically over the last 25 years. With this increased population, there are now more and more student groups, programs, and scholarship funds aimed specifically at nurturing Hispanic students. Since we also know that young adults with degrees in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) subjects are increasingly in demand, it makes sense that some outreach groups are trying to promote the study of STEM fields by women and minority students.
Diversity in STEM Fields
The growing STEM fields, traditionally dominated by men, have gradually been expanding their outreach in an effort to help women and minorities feel more welcome. A new initiative called TIDES (Teaching to Increase Diversity and Equity in STEM), which has twenty participating American colleges, aims to grow the ranks of women in STEM programs by facilitating a nurturing educational environment for women.
Finding the Right School
What does this mean for a Latina woman looking to start a career in STEM? First, take a look at this list to see what schools participate in TIDES. These are schools that will very likely be welcoming and accommodating toward you and they will likely be the schools most willing to help you focus on and achieve your goals in STEM. Combined with your hard work, getting into a TIDES school is a winning formula for a successful jump-start to your career.
Another thing you may want to look for is whether or not the school is Hispanic-serving. Since your identity as a Latina is important to you, you may want to look into how committed the schools you are interested in are to celebrating Hispanic culture and maintaining their campus’ Hispanic community. Some suggested ways to find out about this would be to see if there are Hispanic professors on campus, if there are Hispanic cultural clubs on campus such as a Mariachi band, or if any Hispanic students hold student office at the school.
Just remember that you are not alone in your struggle. Many Latina women across the nation are trying their hardest to make it in STEM and succeeding, and you can too.