IUPUI to lead $4.8M statewide effort to help minorities obtain STEM degrees

IIUPUI will lead a $4.8 million statewide initiative to increase the number of underrepresented minorities who get degrees in majors related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The National Science Foundation awarded the grant to IUPUI to lead an effort called the Indiana STEM Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation. Partners include Indiana University in Bloomington, Ball State University in Muncie, Ivy Tech Community College and IU regional campuses in Gary and South Bend.

The coalition aims to double in five years the number of STEM degrees awarded by the institutions to underepresented minorities, including Hispanics and African-Americans. That would lift the number of degrees issued to 590 in the fifth year of the grant.

“We are grateful to the NSF for supporting this important program that will impact students at institutions across the state of Indiana,” said IUPUI Chancellor Nasser Paydar in a statement. “Creating opportunities to build the STEM educational pipeline will help strengthen the Indiana life sciences economy and contribute to our national and international competitiveness in this vital area.”

The strategies include helping students with academic preparation and engagement in STEM disciplines, increasing their retention and graduation, and helping in the transition from community colleges to four-year institutions.

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