In this article, Marie-Elena Reyes presents the issues faced by women of color in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) as they transfer from community colleges to universities. Community colleges offer a great potential for diversifying and increasing participation of underrepresented groups in STEM. Many women of color enter higher education through community colleges, but transfer rates are low, and retention rates of transfer students into STEM at universities are lower still. Through interviews conducted with participants in the National Science Foundation–funded Futurebound program, Reyes reveals an atmosphere in which women of color transfer students experience attitudes and treatment signaling that they do not belong because of age, ethnicity, and gender as well as preconceptions that transfer students are not adequately prepared. Reyes proposes that programs and policies to integrate responses to these challenges could improve the transfer rates and retention of women of color into STEM fields.

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