What started off as a national concern has escalated to the point of crisis (Bonner, Alfred, Lewis, Nave & Frizell, 2009; Chubin & Malcolm, 2008; Hrabowski, Summers & Hrabowski, 2006). The current state of affairs regarding African American participation in STEM disciplines has become one of the thorniest issues of contemporary focus. This article highlights data collected for a NSF Education Research grant. The focus of this HBCU-UP project was to uncover factors contributing to the success of academically gifted (high-achieving) African American students enrolled in engineering programs at the 12 ABET accredited four-year institutions in the U.S. Specifically, this research highlights qualitative case study data including key categories and themes identified as impacting the academic success of this high-achieving cohort across each of the 12 institutions included in this study. Based on the findings of this study, recommendations are provided to increase the success of African American gifted students in STEM fields at HBCUs.



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