Six colleges in the state are joining together on a $4.8 million program focused on doubling degree attainment for minority students in science, technology, engineering and math fields by 2022. Participating schools will pursue the goal through emphasizing innovative recruiting and retention strategies.

The schools say it will key in on relevant educational experiences to support groups such as African-Americans, Alaska Natives, American Indians, Latinos, Native Hawaiians and Native Pacific Islanders. In 2013-2014, participating schools graduated a combined 295 minority students with STEM degrees.

The schools involved are Ball State University, Indiana University, IU Northwest, IUPUI, IU South Bend and Ivy Tech Community College.

Ball State interim President Terry King says "we have long known that higher education is a gateway to successful, enriching lives and careers. Ball State has long stressed the need to create opportunities for minority students in various STEM fields in order to meet the needs of our nation’s increasingly technology-based economy. This partnership will enhance our efforts to inspire the next generation of researchers, inventors and creators."

The partners are focusing on three primary strategies:

  • Implement cohesive, high-impact practice programs to increase the first-year, full-time minority student retention rate by 2 percent per year at each institution and to strengthen disciplinary engagement
  • Facilitate seamless transitions from high schools to STEM undergraduate and graduate degree programs
  • Facilitate students’ transition from community colleges to four-year institutions

Ball State says plans call for initiatives including math placement and online review support, summer bridge programs, freshman learning communities, peer mentoring, four year degree completion plans, faculty-mentored research and an annual research conference.

You can connect to more about the effort by clicking here.

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