Effect of early STEMM pipeline programs on recruiting and retaining a diverse healthcare workforce
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Lack of diversity in the science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine (STEMM) has been a problem for many decades and continues to be a concern. Efforts to recruit and retain underrepresented minorities (URMs) in the workforce include outreach programs that target students at different educational levels. Prior studies examined the effects of these programs, basing the success on the number of students who continued to pursue field-specific higher education. In this study, I investigated the effect of outreach programs by reviewing studies on 15 programs and inclusive high schools that recruit students for STEMM. I also examined program components to determine any commonality among these programs to create a guide for developing more effective programs. Based on the review, outreach programs were able to achieve their goals and sustain students’ interests in the fields. The common elements found among the programs include: stimulating learning environment, hands-on activities, mentorship, and incentives. Based on the common features of the programs, I predicted that the Boston Area Health Education Center (BAHEC) program has the design of curriculum that can lead to success, but offering a type of mentorship can further ensure the effectiveness of the program.