NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University recently received a $2.5 million grant to implement and lead the Tennessee Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority participation in support of underrepresented students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
The National Science Foundation grant will cover a period of five years, paying $493, 207 per year to significantly increase the number of baccalaureate degrees awarded to students majoring in STEM disciplines while meeting the future needs of government, industry and education.
“This grant will impact nearly 3,800 underrepresented students throughout Tennessee, and increase the production and quality of minorities pursuing STEM careers,” said Dr. Lonnie Sharpe, Massie Chair of Excellence and co-principal investigator of the grant. “I am pleased that our excellent STEM faculty and alliance partners are committed to work together to have an impact at both ends of the collegiate pipeline, from community college to graduate school, to engage a diverse pool of students in the STEM enterprise.”
LSAMP supports sustained and comprehensive approaches that facilitate the long-term goal of increasing the number of students who earn doctorates in STEM fields, particularly those from populations underrepresented in STEM fields. Phase I awards, which TSU first received in 2002, places emphasis on aggregate baccalaureate production. The University then received a Phase II award in 2008 to augment Phase I with emphasis on individual student retention and progression to baccalaureate degrees. The recent grant, which covers Phase III, augments Phase I and Phase II with attention to aggregate student progression to graduate school acceptance.
The program goals are accomplished through the formation of alliances of colleges and universities across the region, in which TSU acts as the lead campus. Other institutions in the alliance include LeMoyne-Owen College, Fisk University, Middle Tennessee State University, Nashville State Community College, Southwest Tennessee Community College, Tennessee Technological University, University of Memphis, University of Tennessee-Knoxville, and Vanderbilt University.
“This grant provides tremendous opportunities for us to increase the number of minority undergraduates in STEM,” added Sharpe. “This will ultimately increase the number of students pursuing graduate studies in the STEM workforce that drives the security and economy of our nation.”
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