Author ORCID Identifier


Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Jeffery Wilson

Second Advisor

Dr. Lisa Abrams

Third Advisor

Dr. Risha Berry

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Lisa Webb


Seventy-six percent of all minority students who enter college with declared majors in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) do not graduate with STEM degrees. Black students represent 40% of minority attrition from STEM. Implicit racial bias was indicated as a contributor to the challenges faced by Black students. The purpose of this study was to explore whether a researcher-instructor partnership brought awareness to and the potential for mitigation of implicit racial bias in course delivery and instructor interactions with Black students in STEM classes. A case study design was used over three phases to gather survey, observational, and interview data. The survey was used to collect descriptive data, data on instructor knowledge of implicit racial bias, and to recruit instructors to Phase 2 of the study. Phase 2 data were gathered through classroom observations and weekly meetings with each instructor over a 6-week period. Phase 3 data were collected using a semistructured interview to gather instructors’ perceptions of the study and benefits of the partnership. Surveys were completed by 19 STEM instructors. Four of the 19 instructors participated in the researcher-instructor partnership. Instructors reported joining the study to learn more about implicit racial bias and ways to improve instruction. Instructors found the partnership offered a respectful and comfortable space to discuss implicit racial bias. The partnership was beneficial in bringing awareness to the impact of implicit racial bias and in improving instructor-student interaction.

Keywords: implicit racial bias, mitigation, Black students, STEM, attrition, partnership, case study


© Jacqueline Johnson Wilson

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission


Previous Versions

May 18 2022