- Multiple factors are known to influence student success in higher education. Barriers to postsecondary success for underrepresented STEM students are numerous and well documented. We detail an exploratory study of STEM faculty notions of successful students and the instructional practices they employ to cultivate student success. We use a conceptual framework of educators’ perceptions, teaching practices, and student engagement to analyze faculty’s perceptions of their students that may inform and influence their teaching practices. This framework also allowed us to uncover potentially unknown and unintended perceptions, practices, and structures that may implicate larger social structures that result in inequities experienced by many individuals in STEM education. We found faculty perceive a range of characteristics and factors indicative and predictive of student success. Faculty also described a wide range of instructional strategies they perceived as effective. We offer insights into STEM faculty practices and expectations that assume and encourage groups traditionally successful in STEM while also highlighting implicit and hidden faculty expectations that may position women, racial/ethnic, and other underrepresented groups as unsuccessful in STEM. This paper adds to the limited research that explores STEM faculty perceptions of their notions of successful students and the relationship between those perceptions and their teaching practices.