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News & Events

12-12-2007

$3 Million Grant Helps Colleges Recruit Minority Students into STEM Fields

The National Science Foundation has awarded $3 million over five years to an alliance of upstate New York colleges and universities, including Clarkson University, to enroll and graduate more students from African-American, Latino American and Native American (AALANA) populations from science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) degree programs.

In response to pressing local needs and national goals, the Upstate Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (ULSAMP) was formed to attract and maximize the potential of students from AALANA populations.

This will be achieved through a two-pronged approach-implemented across the alliance-that includes enhancing recruitment of both first-time freshmen and transfer students, and by providing new opportunities to enhance the graduation rate of the targeted populations.

Clarkson will receive $240,000 over the five-year period with funding supporting a range of recruitment initiatives, research internships, professional development and academic support services. Clarkson's ULSAMP program is partnering with another NSF- funded program at Clarkson. Scholar-STEM targets and supports academically talented urban minority and rural economically disadvantaged students in the STEM fields.

Higher education needs to reach out to minorities, where they live, said Clarkson University President Tony Collins. "In the North Country, this funding will provide wider higher educational opportunities for high school students from African-American, Latino American and Native American families, who are well represented at Fort Drum and in the surrounding communities. This funding announcement is good news for 10th Mountain Division dependents who want to pursue science, technology, engineering and mathematics degree programs and start non-military careers. And with a 79-year history Army ROTC experience, I am confident these students will find our campus to be a welcoming place to live and learn."

Clarkson University is committed to attracting and retaining talented students to the STEM fields, added Catherine Clark, acting associate vice president for Institutional Diversity Initiatives. "Equally important is diversifying Clarkson's campus community so that all of our students are prepared to enter and compete in the global workforce. Support from the National Science Foundation is extremely important in helping us ensure the success of an increasing number of students coming to us from underrepresented populations."

According to the NSF Science and Engineering Indicators, the gap in educational attainment between underrepresented groups and Caucasian students remains wide, especially in science and engineering fields. The ULSAMP offers the opportunity to reach 60,000 potential students across the member institutions, thus doubling the number of minority graduates from these targeted programs.

Clarkson University, located in Potsdam, New York, is a private, nationally ranked university with a reputation for developing innovative leaders in engineering, business, the sciences, health sciences and the humanities. At Clarkson, 3,000 high-ability students excel in an environment where learning is not only positive, friendly and supportive but spans the boundaries of traditional disciplines and knowledge. Faculty members achieve international recognition for their research and scholarship and connect students to their leadership potential in the marketplace through dynamic, real-world problem solving. Find out more about Clarkson at http://www.clarkson.edu.

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this release are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

[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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