This research utilizes multiple large-scale state and national longitudinal databases to examine gendered differences in the changing landscape of U.S. postsecondary education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields (STEM), with a particular focus on community college pathways to computing, a field which has been among the most sex-segregated and while also growing in enrollments and workforce demand.

NSF Education Core Research grant #19-20670

Lara and Shouping

Investigator Team: Dr. Lara Perez-Felkner and Dr. Shouping Hu

Perez Felkner and Grad Assistants

Dr. Lara Perez-Felkner and Graduate Assistants

Meet the Team

Dr. Lara Perez-Felkner, Principal Investigator and Associate Professor of Higher Education and Sociology

Dr. Shouping Hu, Co-Principal Investigator and Louis W. and Elizabeth N. Bender Endowed Professor of Higher Education

Dr. Chantra Nhien, Postdoctoral Fellow

Jinjushang (Chena) Chen, Ph.D. Candidate in Educational Psychology

Yang Li, Graduate Research Intern, Ph.D. Student in Higher Education

Alumni Researchers

Kristen Erichsen, Ph.D. in Sociology

Ciera Fluker, Ph.D. in Higher Education

Teng Zhao, Ph.D. in Higher Education

Advisory Board to Enhance Rigor and Impact

We draw on both a Technical Advisory Board and Broader Impacts Advisory Board given the importance of research informed by policy and practice and designed to generate results, which can contribute to broadening participation in computing and science and technology more broadly, in Florida, the U.S., and beyond.

News and Relevant Links

  • Florida State University news coverage of our work includes radio and TV features on why community college women’s access to computing fields matters.

Contact us for more information or to subscribe to our project newsletter

Associated Recent Publications, with * denoting funding support from NSF computing project and ^ denoting past NSF funding support.

* Perez-Felkner, L. Erichsen, K., Li, Y., Chen, J., Hu, S., Ramirez Surmeier, L., Shore, C. (revised & resubmitted) [Title blinded for peer review]. Review of Educational Research.

* Chen, J., Perez-Felkner, L., Nhien, C., Hu, S., Erichsen, K. (revised & resubmitted) [Title blinded for peer review]. Research in Higher Education.

* Zhao, T. Perez-Felkner, L., & Yang, Y. (revised & resubmitted) [Title blinded for peer review]. Higher Education.

* Zhao, T. & Perez-Felkner, L. (revise & resubmit) [Title blinded for peer review]. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis.

* Holton-Thomas, A., Perez-Felkner, L., & Portis Templeton, D. (2022 online first). How Do Institutional Type and Transfer Affect Contemporary College Students’ Degree Attainment? Community College Journal of Research and Practice, XX(X), p. 1-6. Free full-text for those w/out subscription access here.

* Perez-Felkner, L., Ramirez Surmeier, L., & Rezaei, R. (In press). Gender and Educational Inequality. In Mark Berends, Barbara Schneider, & Stephen Lamb (Eds.), Handbook on Sociology of Education (31 pages). Sage.

* Zhao, T. & Perez-Felkner, L. (2022) Perceived Abilities or Academic Interests? Longitudinal High School Science and Mathematics Effects on Postsecondary STEM Outcomes by Gender and Race. International Journal of STEM Education, 9(42), 1-26. DOI: 10.1186/s40594-022-00356-w

* Perez-Felkner, L. (2022). Transforming Opportunity to Support STEM Success for All. Policy Brief published with Scholars Strategy Network (SSN) and Student Experience Research Network (SERN).

* Perez-Felkner, L., Shore, C., Dickens, T., & Yang, M. D. (2020). Engineering Resilience through Research Mentorship: Manufacturing Pathways to Careers. American Society for Engineering Education, PEER Proceedings, Montreal, CA.

* Perez-Felkner, L. (2020). EDITORIAL: Surpassing STEM’s Gender Limitations: Structures, Interventions, and Systems Change. International Journal of Gender, Science and Technology11(3), 1-4.

^ Perez-Felkner, L., Felkner, J., Nix, S., & Magalhães, M. (2020). The Puzzling Relationship between International Development and Gender Equity: The Case of STEM Postsecondary Education in Cambodia. International Journal of Educational Development 72(1) 1-11. doi: 10.1016/j.ijedudev.2019.102102 See related translational article in Elsevier Connect.

^ Nix, S., & Perez-Felkner, L. (2019). Difficulty orientations, gender, and race/ethnicity: An intersectional analysis of pathways to STEM degreesSocial Sciences, 8(2), 1-29. doi: 10.3390/socsci8020043. See also video abstract:

^ Perez-Felkner, L., Thomas, K., Nix, S., Hopkins, J., & D’Sa, M. (2019). Are 2-Year Colleges the Key? Institutional Variation and the Gender Gap in Undergraduate STEM Degrees. Journal of Higher Education. 90(2), 181-209. doi: 10.1080/00221546.2018.1486641

Perez-Felkner, L., Gaston Gayles, J. (Eds.) (2018). Special Issue: Advancing Higher Education Research on Undergraduate Women in STEMNew Directions for Institutional Research, vol. 179, pp. 1-137.

Perez-Felkner, L., Gaston Gayles, J. (2018). Editor’s Notes. New Directions for Institutional Research, 2018(179): 7-9.

Perez-Felkner, L. (2018). Conceptualizing the field: Higher education research on the STEM gender gapNew Directions for Institutional Research, 2018(179): 11-26. doi: 10.1002/ir.20273

Šaras, E., Perez-Felkner, L., & Nix, S. (2018).  Warming the Chill: Insights for Institutions and Researchers to Keep Women in STEMNew Directions for Institutional Research, 2018(179): 115-137. doi:10.1002/ir.20278

^ Milesi, C., Perez-Felkner, L., Brown, K, & Schneider, B. (2017). Engagement, Persistence, and Gender in Computer Science: Results of a Smartphone ESM Study. Frontiers in Psychology. 8(602). doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00602