Increasing the Number of Underrepresented Students in STEM Fields

MIE Professor Hameed Metghalchi and Assistant Dean Richard Harris were awarded a $250K NSF sub-award for the “Louis Stokes Renewal STEM Pathways and Research Alliance: Northeast LSAMP 2021-2026.” NELSAMP is part of a $2.5M award led by the University of Connecticut. NELSAMP offers effective, individualized recruitment and retention programs for historically underrepresented students pursuing baccalaureate degrees in STEM fields. Since its founding in 2001, the Northeast LSAMP (NELSAMP) has made important contributions to the recruitment, retention, and graduation of students from racial and ethnic minority groups underrepresented in engineering and the sciences. During the past 19 years, URM STEM student enrollment increased from 1,232 to 5,679 and the number of URM STEM B.S. degrees awarded per year at alliance institutions increased from 167 to 893. NELSAMP’s goal for the next five years is to increase URM undergraduate enrollment and graduation rates by an additional 50% over 2019-2020 academic year levels and to significantly increase the number of URM students pursuing graduate study in STEM fields. Partner Institutions: UConn (Lead), Northeastern, Tufts, UMass-Amherst, University of Rhode Island, Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Abstract Source: NSF

The Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program assists universities and colleges in diversifying the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce through their efforts at significantly increasing the numbers of students from historically underrepresented minority populations to successfully complete high quality degree programs in STEM.

Over the next five years, the University of Connecticut (UConn), lead institution for the Northeast Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (NELSAMP), with partner institutions: Northeastern University, Tufts University, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, University of Rhode Island (URI), and Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and the Connecticut Community College System, will build upon its successes to increase recruitment and STEM baccalaureate degree production to historically underrepresented minority students with an emphasis on entry to STEM graduate program. The alliance will also conduct a study that addresses non-cognitive (interpersonal and intrapersonal) factors, as opposed to academic factors, that lead to student success for this population of students pursuing STEM degrees.

The program evaluation incorporates continued assessment of institutionalization and sustainability in addition to assessing the effectiveness of NELSAMP’s strategies. Project and evaluation findings will be shared with the STEM education community to build the knowledge base and foster implementation of new promising practices.

This award reflects NSF’s statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation’s intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

Related Faculty: Hameed Metghalchi, Richard Harris

Related Departments:Mechanical & Industrial Engineering