Teacher Education, Educational Leadership & Policy ETDs

Publication Date

Fall 11-15-2022


This research addresses how student participation in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) project-based learning (PBL) education activities encourages underrepresented minority student achievement in STEM career field trajectories. Seven New Mexico high school counselors and 12 STEM organization personnel were interviewed during this study. Their responses represent the nuanced professional voices where New Mexico public education intersects with STEM student interest and cultural influence.

For students, STEM PBL can foster deep integration across educational disciplines and enhance STEM career trajectory interest and readiness. STEM education converged with PBL methodologies has the ability to leverage community support while broadening student networks. It provides students with enriched academic support that cultivates their STEM skill set development and enhances their ability to earn income. Best educational practices for students with STEM career trajectory interests highlight developing growth mindsets through mentoring, off campus excursions, and interactive STEM learning experiences.


STEM education, Project-based learning, PBL, New Mexico, STEM, High School Counselor, Underrepresented Minority student, equity, inclusion

Document Type




Degree Name

Educational Leadership

Level of Degree


Department Name

Teacher Education, Educational Leadership & Policy

First Committee Member (Chair)

Allison M. Borden

Second Committee Member

Shawn L. Secatero

Third Committee Member

Patrick Lopez

Fourth Committee Member

Mary Jo Daniel

Fifth Committee Member

Theodore Jojola

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