Meeting the nation’s growing needs for professionals in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields requires the energy and talents of students from the entire spectrum of the American population. America’s public universities are engaged in many efforts to bridge the participation gap by students from various racial and ethnic groups.
During this day-long symposium, participants will examine the “promising practices” and “lessons learned” from two initiatives: the Minority Male STEM Initiative (MMSI) of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) and the Meyerhoff Scholars Program of the University of Maryland-Baltimore County (UMBC) Broad participation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields at the postsecondary education level continues to diverge from the demographics of the U.S.-born student population. This symposium examines data derived from efforts to adapt university-based programs that hold promise for reducing underrepresentation and broadening local success. The symposium is sponsored by APLU in collaboration with the American Association for the Advancement of Science and NASA.
These programs represent institution-wide interventions, and evaluation of STEM education programs for URM males, that have succeeded where others have failed. However, a strategic, long-term goal for developing and promoting student success in STEM education requires a benchmarking of success around various indicators, including how innovative interventions are applicable to not just the targeted underrepresented groups, but to all students. The goal of this symposium is to extract experiences and distill strategies, based on ongoing research and evaluation, to effect positive educational outcomes.
Organizers and participants of the respective programs will tell their stories, share data and advice, and engage attendees in discussions that can inform efforts elsewhere. The morning will be devoted to the implications of the Minority Male STEM Initiative, the afternoon to the Meyerhoff model and its “descendants” adapted to other campus settings. National implications also will be discussed.
Minority Male STEM Initiative
Within race/ethnicity differences, there is a gender component in which males of color are strikingly underrepresented in STEM academic majors. With funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, APLU’s Minority Male STEM Initiative seeks to raise awareness among stakeholders about the unique challenges facing these underrepresented males by showcasing effective practices that inform campus efforts to increase the success of minority men in STEM. Fourteen APLU-member institutions have been surveyed about their practices for improving access and success of minority males in STEM. The results of this survey will be presented.
Meyerhoff Scholars Program
Since its inception in 1988, Meyerhoff Scholars Program at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County (UMBC), has been at the forefront of efforts to increase diversity among future leaders in science, engineering, and related fields. The UMBC Meyerhoff family is now more than 1000 strong, with 700 alumni across the nation and 300 students enrolled in graduate and professional programs. The program has been recognized by the National Science Foundation, College Board, The New York Times, and numerous higher education organizations as evidence that assembling a critical mass of academically-prepared students in a tightly-knit learning community will inspire students to higher levels of achievement.