Honors Projects


Previous research in STEM student retention rates showed a gap in knowledge regarding why this group of student experience higher rates of burnout than other groups of students. This study investigated the barriers STEM students at BGSU experienced. A survey was sent out to STEM and non-STEM students alike that asked questions regarding student’s personal history before attending BGSU, their course experiences at BGSU, and the levels of support they have outside of BGSU. The survey data showed that there was little difference in the rates that students switch majors solely based on being in the STEM field. The data did show that many healthcare related fields in STEM were affected more by COVID-19 than other fields of study. Survey results also revealed that underrepresented students did not access resources on campus at the same rate. For example, first-generation students used counseling center resources at a disproportionately lower rate than continuing-generation students. Proposed changes that BGSU could make to lend students more support on campus and bridge the gaps underrepresented students experience in access to resources and support were made. Some of these changes included creating private, quiet spaces on campus that students could use to access the resources already implemented at BGSU, creating a peer mentorship program so students can support one another, and employing an outreach program through to the counseling center to take the first step to reach out the students in need.


Honors Program



First Advisor

Siobhan Shay, PhD

First Advisor Department


Second Advisor

Staci Freeworth, EdD RD

Second Advisor Department

Food and Nutrition

Publication Date

Fall 12-12-2021