Little is known about the online learning behaviors of students traditionally underrepresented in STEM fields (i.e., UR-STEM students), as well as how those behaviors impact important learning outcomes. The present study examined the relationship between online discussion forum engagement and success for UR-STEM and non-UR-STEM students, using the Community of Inquiry (CoI) model as our theoretical framework. Social network analysis and nested regression models were used to explore how three different measures of forum engagement - 1) total number of posts written, 2) number of help-seeking posts written and replied to, and 3) level of connectivity - were related to improvement (i.e., relative performance gains) for 70 undergraduate students enrolled in an online introductory STEM course. We found a significant positive relationship between help-seeking and improvement and nonsignificant effects of general posting and connectivity; these results held for UR-STEM and non-UR-STEM students alike. Our findings suggest that online help-seeking has benefits for course improvement beyond what can be predicted by posting alone and that one need not be well connected in a class network to achieve positive learning outcomes. Finally, UR-STEM students demonstrated greater grade improvement than their non-UR-STEM counterparts, which suggests that the online environment has the potential to combat barriers to success that disproportionately affect underrepresented students.