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Binghamton University to use federal grant to help minority students pursue STEM degrees

By Eric Reinhardt


VESTAL, N.Y. — Binghamton University announced it will use a federal grant of more than $455,000 to help increase undergraduate and graduate degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in “historically underrepresented minority (URM) student populations.” 

The school’s grant represents a portion of a new five-year, $4 million National Science Foundation (NSF) grant targeting the STEM fields among minority students.

The grant supports the SUNY Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (SUNY LSAMP) program, a “synergistic collaboration and alliance” of 14 SUNY schools that Stony Brook University leads, according to a Binghamton University news release.

SUNY LSAMP Associate Director Shanise Kent is leading Binghamton University’s effort with the grant funding, the school said. 

Binghamton University and the other SUNY schools say they want to expand the alliance and create additional STEM curriculum opportunities for students. 

To date, SUNY LSAMP has taken leadership in STEM curricular reform on the SUNY campuses and has supported URM STEM student needs. 

“This round of funding will allow the SUNY alliance to scale up programming to increase URM STEM student recruitment and retention, with a focus on improving the community college to four-year school pathway for URM STEM students,” Kent said.

Over the next five years, the project’s three “leading” goals include preparing URM students for a “successful transition” into STEM majors.

The goals also include providing “experimental activities that lead to socialization” into STEM and promoting “systemic change by broadening participation in research,” according to the school’s release.

The NSF has supported the SUNY LSAMP program since its inception, Binghamton University said. 

This latest grant award is the fifth stage of funding and will “build upon and fine-tune” the Fostering STEM Identity through Transitions (FIT) model. 

The FIT model will conduct an “in-depth, theory-driven examination of the pivotal experiences that lead to engagement, retention and overall success of URM STEM college students,” the school said.

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