Traditional vs. Affiliation Paths Model for Science Student Success


  • Simeon Slovacek Cal State LA
  • Simeon Slovacek



STEM, university program, underrepresented minorities, graduation rate


The availability of academic and personal supports is known to have a positive impact on students’ academic success, which can be particularly beneficial in the university setting. In the present study, we propose that participation in a university academic and climate support program increases students’ academic success in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields. The aim is to answer two research questions about the dynamics of the university setting as it relates to traditional higher education versus targeted support program’s affiliation paths. Results gathered by comparing two groups (Minority Opportunities in REsearch (MORE)) programs affiliates versus non-MORE (or essentially traditional degree program paths), indicate that students affiliated with the university target program have much higher graduation rates. 88% of MORE students graduated in 6 years and 100% within 10 years, compared to non-MORE traditional students with 16% graduating in 6 years and 28% graduating within 10 years. Concerning the second research question of interest, all MORE STEM majors were compared by major while controlling for entry status of freshmen versus transfers. A two-way ANOVA showed there were no differences by major pointing to the generalizability of this type of support program.


1. Addis, A. (2007). The concept of critical mass in legal discourse. Cardozo Law Review (29), 97-148.

2. Bandura, A. (1989). Human agency in social cognitive theory. American Scientist, 44(9), 1175-1184.

3. Barlow, A. & Villarejo, M. (2004). Making a difference for minorities: evaluation of an
Educational enrichment program. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 41(9), 861-881.

4. Cohen, J., McCabe, E.M., Michelli, N.M., Pickeral, T. (2009). School climate: Research, policy,
practice, and teacher education. Teachers College Record, Vol 111, No 1, 180-213.

5. Dennis, J.M., Phinney, J.S., Chuateco, L.V. (2005). The role of motivation, parental support, and
peer support in the academic success of ethnic minority first-generation college students.
Journal of College Student Development, Vol 46, No. 3, 223-236.
DOI: 10.1353/csd.2005.0023

6. Etzkowitz, H., Kemelgor, C., Neushchatz, M., Uzzi, B., Alonzo, J. (1994). The paradox of
critical mass for women in science. Science, Vol 266 No. 5182, 51-54.

7. Garces, M.G., Jayakumar, U.M., (2014). Dynamic diversity: Toward a contextual understanding
of critical mass. Educational Researcher, Vol. 43 No. 3, 115–124.
DOI: 10.3102/0013189X14529814

8. Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities. (2018). 2018 Fact sheet – Hispanic Higer
Education and HSIs. Retrieved from

9. Hurtado, S., Han, J. C., Saenz, V. B., Espinosa, L. L., Cabrera, N. L., & Cerna, O.S. (2007).
Predicting transition and adjustment to college: Minority biomedical and behavioral
science students’ first year of college. Research in Higher Education, 48(7), 841–887.

10. National School Climate Center (2007). What is school climate? Retrieved from

11. Rogers, M.R., Molina, L.E. (2006). Exemplary efforts in psychology to recruit and retain
graduate students of color. American Psychologist, 143-156.

12. Santiago, D.A. (2012), Public policy and Hispanic-serving institutions: from invention to accountability. Journal of Latinos and Education, 11: 163-167.
DOI: 10.1080/15348431.2012.686367

13. Slovacek, S. P., Tucker, S., & Whittinghill, J. C. (2008). Modeling minority opportunity
programs: Key interventions and success indicators. Journal of Education and Human
Development, 2(1).

14. Slovacek, S. P., Whittinghill, J., Flenoury, L., & Wiseman, D. (2012). Promoting minority
success in the sciences: The minority opportunities in research programs at CSULA. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 49(2), 199-217.

15. Solberg, V.C., Villareal, P., Kennel, R. (1993). Self-efficacy and Hispanic college students:
Validation of the college self-efficacy instrument. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, Vol 15 No. 1, 80-95.




How to Cite

Slovacek, S., & Slovacek, S. (2019). Traditional vs. Affiliation Paths Model for Science Student Success. Advances in Social Sciences Research Journal, 6(8), 420–429.