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In the fall of 2009, the National Science Foundation awarded the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) grant to five institutions in the Pacific Northwest region, with the University of Washington (UW) as the lead institution. The Pacific Northwest Louis Stokes Alliance (PNW LSAMP) includes the three state region of Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Broadening participation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) is critical to the region’s economic vitality given the significant number of STEM related industries and research initiatives. PNW LSAMP partners are active contributors to state and regional STEM initiatives, and the strong partnership between alliance campuses has resulted in increased pathways to college, student success in STEM majors and access to undergraduate research experiences. Since the inception of the alliance, degrees granted to underrepresented minority (URM) students in STEM have increased 70%, far outpacing the overall increase of 21% on partner campuses. PNW LSAMP is sustaining its foundational work and enhancing it with an emphasis on community college transfer and preparation for graduate study in STEM fields.
Project goals include 1) increasing the number of STEM bachelor degrees granted to URM students by 10% per year; 2) increasing the percentage of bachelor degrees granted in STEM to URM students who transfer from community colleges to 40%, and doubling the number of degrees granted to URM STEM transfer students; and 3) providing workshops and services to ensure that 95% of LSAMP-affiliated students are exposed to information about graduate school preparation.
The Alliance is administered at the University of Washington’s Seattle campus in partnership with staff from each participating partner. PNW LSAMP partners implement best practices in STEM diversity initiatives that have been disseminated by existing LSAMP programs around the country. Program vision and direction is provided by an advisory board of chief academic officers, diversity officers and deans from participating institutions. The advisory board works to ensure that the commitment to addressing underrepresentation in STEM is both enduring and institution wide.
*Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation