An Analysis of Arizona's Political Influence on K-12 STEM Education and Its Impact on Latino Undergraduates in STEM Majors
The aim of this study is to analyze the impact Arizona legislation has had on STEM education access, specifically for Latino students. Using socio-ecological systems theory, this study explores the relation between the macro and exo-systemic context of education legislation and the micro-systemic context of being a STEM undergraduate at a state university. In order to understand how STEM education is affected, legislation was analyzed through the Arizona Legislative Database. Additionally, current STEM undergraduates were interviewed in order to discover the factors that made them successful in their majors. Data from the interviews would demonstrate the influence of the Arizona legislation macro and exo-systems on the microsystemic portion of Latinos and their access to STEM education. A total of 24 students were interviewed as part of this study. Their responses shed light on the complexities of STEM education access and the importance of mentorship for success in STEM. The overall conclusion is that more efforts need to be made before STEM education is readily available to many, but the most effective way to achieve this is through mentorship.