UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS-SPRINGFIELD (WCIA) — The National Science Foundation is giving UIS a five-year $100,000 grant to develop and implement programs to support the success of underrepresented minority (URM) students in STEM.
Lucía Vázquez, associate dean of the UIS College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, will serve as one of the principal investigators on the project.
“Nationwide, minorities are underrepresented in the STEM workforce; also, of the students who start as STEM majors, about 40 percent of them switch majors and 23 percent drop out of college,” said Vázquez. “Given this situation and the prediction that the demand for professionals in STEM fields will increase in the near future (based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics), then it is imperative that we implement programs to promote the academic success of our minority students in these areas.”
Goals of the grant are to increase URM students in research, provide them with support in gateway courses and provide resources to guarantee academic success. The five-year project’s end goal is to have significantly increased the number of URM students graduating with STEM degrees.