Expanding STEM Graduate
Education Opportunities for Hispanic/Latinos
and Other Underrepresented
Minorities and Low-Income Students
In recent history there
has not been a more critical need for well-educated scientists who can respond
to current, anticipated, and unexpected environmental challenges that
significantly impact the quality of life of our nation and our world.
Unfortunately, the involvement of Hispanic/Latinos (and other racial/ethnic
minorities underrepresented in STEM) is low among those scientific experts in
the US currently addressing critical environmental dilemmas. At the root of
this problem is the fact
that the number of underrepresented minorities
(Blacks, Hispanic/Latinos, and American Indian/Alaskan Natives) completing
degrees in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields remains
disproportionately low at all degree levels when compared with non-science and
engineering degrees and with the diversity of the general population.
project required the NSUOC to develop a flexible, supportive, and effective
academic and career pathway as students with Bachelor’s
Degrees efficiently transition to graduate degrees.
This can best be accomplished through a system of organized and strategic interventions that
emphasize a coherent learning sequence offering the highest quality and most
efficient instruction and support systems. Hispanic/Latinos and other low-income
students face additional pressures, in that even though they made it through
their undergraduate studies, they are often the first in their families to
attend graduate school, therefore they often lack the
knowledge and support
system needed to meet the higher-level expectations of graduate studies.
The methods and budget
allocations used to develop and pilot test the improvements developed under the
proposed project are designed to have a significant impact on the academic,
community-building, and student support for these underrepresented populations.
As a result of the interventions,
Hispanic/Latinos, others underrepresented in STEM, and low-income students will
- more rapid progression through the
program via a realigned graduate curriculum;
- fewer impediments to learning, as
students’ needs are more proactively anticipated and addressed;
- sustainable curriculum changes; and
- an expanded support model that targets
student needs upon admission and through key degree progression points.
Ultimately, the success of the project will be measured through achievement of
outcomes such as:
Meet Our Mentors
- increases in the number of targeted
faculty and graduate students who participate in project activities such as
curriculum development, training, and mentoring;
- increases in enrollment and the number
of targeted graduate students utilizing new and enhanced programs and services;
- awarding of fellowships to
targeted graduate students.