More Than "Getting Us Through:" A Case Study in Cultural Capital Enrichment of Underrepresented Minority Undergraduates.

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Minority students continue to be underrepresented among those who seek graduate and professional degrees in the sciences. Much previous research has focused on academic preparation. Equally important, however, are the psychological-social barriers and lack of institutional support encountered by many minority students. We present a case study of a university-sponsored intervention program for minority science majors that addresses not only academics, but also socialization into the academic community, networking, and the ability to practice newfound skills and dispositions through undergraduate research. In examining this case, we suggest that concerted, formal efforts toward expanding habitus and thereby augmenting cultural and social capital may have positive effects for underrepresented minority (URM) college students' academic and career prospects. Moreover, we argue that these differences complement the gains program participants make in academic preparedness, showing that attention to academics alone may be insufficient for addressing longstanding inequities in science career attainment among URM students.



Cultural capital, Institutional programs, Science, Undergraduate education, Underrepresented minorities