STEM Scholars NSF Grant Summary
The University of Wisconsin-Platteville STEM Scholars program will increase the number of students (emphasis on underrepresented populations) entering the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Science and retain them through graduation by providing scholarships. The STEM Scholars program will be a five-year program, annually awarding approximately 10 renewable scholarships of ~$3,600 annually, increasing the cohort to 40 students in years four and five.
The Program Leadership Team (PI/Co-PIs) will oversee this program, with UW-Platteville administration, support services, and faculty assisting by providing a structure of support services that facilitates a strong cohort; encouraging participation in structured networking opportunities including mentoring, advising, research; promoting opportunities for students such as internships and co-operative education with industry; and supporting career selection and job placement.
STEM Scholars will participate in internships, co-ops, scholarly engagements, workshops, conferences, and research that will activate them to achieve academic excellence essential in the 21st century workforce. The Program Leadership Team will expand their academic and leadership skills in implementing and operating a select, diverse program. Other faculty will be encouraged to offer research opportunities with STEM Scholars, which will facilitate better understanding of the sciences at UW-Platteville and beyond.
Offering scholarships of significant amounts to STEM students will increase recruitment with emphasis on underrepresented populations, particularly as budgets and financial assistance are cut. The STEM Scholars program will focus current student support resources and create others to facilitate academic excellence in these individuals, as well as a cohort, which in turn will increase retention and graduation rates, which will add more graduates in STEM careers. This program crosses STEM disciplines in building a cohort through various group activities, some of which are specific to interests particular to underrepresented populations. This diverse program may become a model for others to use.