Puerto Rican Students Rising in STEM: Findings from a Multicampus Collaborative CURE Program to Promote Student Success

CBE Life Sci Educ. 2023 Dec;22(4):ar54. doi: 10.1187/cbe.23-05-0083.


Although Hispanic population is growing rapidly, Latino students earn fewer STEM degrees than their peers. Therefore, it is mandatory to implement strategies that improve STEM retention and graduation rates for Hispanic students. There is little research about the ways in which multicampus collaborative CUREs combined with additional academic support, affect low-income, Hispanic students and none that focus solely on Puerto Rican students in STEM. Puerto Rico (PR) has a 99% Hispanic population; thus, it is imperative to include PR in education research literature. This study sought to examine the impacts of the Research for Improved Student Experiences (RISE) in STEM program at two campuses of the Inter American University of Puerto Rico. The program included multicampus collaborative CUREs, academic advising, and peer mentoring using quasi-experimental design. Impact assessment included psychosocial metrics such as self-efficacy, science identity and sense of belonging in a pre/posttest design. These findings were triangulated with the differences between treatment and control for retention, pass rate, and course grades. The findings revealed statistically significant improvements on all metrics. This study's findings support multicampus collaborative CUREs, academic advising, and peer mentoring as useful and effective strategies for improving outcomes for low-income Hispanic students in Puerto Rico.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Achievement
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Humans
  • Mentoring*
  • Puerto Rico / epidemiology
  • Students*
  • United States