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07-30-1997

Clarkson Minority Scholars Program Receives Donation From AT&T Foundation

Clarkson University's efforts to bring more minority students into the traditionally homogenous fields of math and science recently received a welcome boost.

John Beyers, AT&T regional representative, on behalf of the AT&T Foundation, presented a $75,000 check to Clarkson University's Minority Scholars Program (MSP) as part of an ongoing effort toward letting minority youths know that a career in those venues is all within their reach.

The check was part of AT&T's three-year funding of MSP, at a rate of $75,000 a year.

The AT&T Foundation has shown they have a keen awareness of the educational process and that we must prepare our young people for the challenges of technology and its rapidly changing pace, said Julius P. Mitchell, director of Pipeline Educational Programs. "We are extremely grateful to AT&T representatives from the Foundation and the Syracuse Regional Office for their continued support."

MSP is a three-week residential program held at Clarkson each summer. Its primary purpose is to strengthen the abstract reasoning and problem-solving skills of the participants by: broadening students educational experiences in math, physics, chemistry, computer science, and written and oral communications; showing students how to "work smart" with time management and study-skill techniques; introducing state-of- the art equipment; immersing students in the fields of science with hands on activities; fostering students' imagination of careers in math- and science-based fields; and maximizing student interaction with faculty, staff and professionals who serve as role models.

Students take part in daily one-hour classes in mathematics, physical science, physics and personal development, with computers and hands-on projects used to reinforce what they learned.

Follow-up sessions later in the year include such subjects as SAT preparation, college selection, financial aid and how to succeed in college.

The program is part of the Northeast Consortium (NEC), a collaborative partnership between Clarkson University, an independent institution located in northern New York, in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains; Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, New York; Bronx Community College and LaGuardia Community College in New York City; Monroe Community College in Rochester, New York; and North Shore Community College in Lynn, Massachusetts.

NEC's purpose is to develop and maintain a series of programs that will comprise an engineering and science "pipeline" for minority high school students. They are introduced to the Consortium in the ninth grade with a two-day orientation program, followed by a one-week hands-on program on the Clarkson campus. The following year, students take part in a four-week course at any of the four Consortium colleges.

The most critical year for the Northeast Consortium's series of programs is MSP, in the third year. Its significance lies in the fact that studies show the sophomore year as a choke-point when a large percentage of students fall out of science and math tracks. The pipeline strategy encourages students to see the relevance of math and science on the long-term and to keep their options open for college and future careers in math-based fields.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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