Strategies for Broadening Participation of Underrepresented Minority Students in STEM
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The Louis Stokes Midwest Center of Excellence (LSMCE) was created in 2012 to communicate evidence-based program effectiveness garnered from the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) consortium to a broader audience. The goal of LSMCE is to serve as a national hub of information for scholars to access data, models, and funding opportunities in broadening the participation of underrepresented minority (URM) students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). The Center is comprised of three lead institutions: Chicago State University, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and Department of Energy-Argonne National Laboratory. The Center outcomes are: 1) development of the cLSMCE information hub to provide consistent online resources and sustained initiatives to showcase best practices in STEM teaching/learning, information dissemination and outreach; 2) faculty engagement in establishing programs, obtaining support and promoting growth across institutions; 3) student development skill-building webinars and workshops; 4) annual conferences providing LSMCE partners and LSAMP community members the opportunity to network and learn/share successful program models, celebrate student success, and be a forum for junior researchers to present in a supportive environment; and 5) partnering with key industry and corporate organizations to provide students access to internships, as well as, sponsorship of LSMCE initiatives and awards. The Center is currently in the fourth year of a five year grant and has recruited twenty Midwestern non-LSAMP schools. It has collaborated with them in developing strategies to improve their URM students’ performance, persistence and graduation in STEM degree programs. The Center also affords a professional platform for their faculty and students to participate in STEM activities.