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January 26, 2012—Bridging the participation gap by students from various racial and ethnic groups in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields is a global competitiveness imperative for the nation.
The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (A۰P۰L۰U), in collaboration with National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the American Association for the Advancement for Science, will present Symposium on Supporting Underrepresented Minority Males in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), a day-long examination of “promising practices” and “lessons learned” from two initiatives: A۰P۰L۰U’s Minority Male STEM Initiative (MMSI) and the Meyerhoff Scholars Program of the University of Maryland-Baltimore County (UMBC). Scheduled for Tuesday, February 28, 2012 at the NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC, the symposium is free, but registration is required.
Keynote speakers for the event include Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D - TX), Woodrow Whitlow, NASA associate administrator for the Mission Support Directorate, and a representative from the White House Office of Science and Technology Programs. Byron Pitts of CBS's 60 Minutes will moderate a special panel with prominent minority males in the STEM workforce.
“Meeting the nation’s growing needs for professionals in the STEM fields requires the energy and talents of students from the entire spectrum of the American population,” said Lorenzo Esters, vice president, A۰P۰L۰U Office for Access & the Advancement of Public Black Universities. “However participation at the college level continues to diverge from the demographics of the U.S.-born student 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 symposium data derived from efforts to adapt university-based programs that hold promise for reducing underrepresentation and broadening local success will be reviewed.
These programs represent institution-wide interventions and evaluation of STEM education programs for underrepresented 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 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, Kresge Foundation and the Siemens Foundation, A۰P۰L۰U’s Minority Male STEM Initiative seeks to raise awareness among stakeholders about the unique challenges facing this underrepresented males by showcasing effective practices that inform campus efforts to increase the success of minority men in STEM. Fourteen A۰P۰L۰U-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.
The symposium is free but registration online is required as space is limited.
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