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Four Michigan Universities Announce Minority Mentoring Program

Four Michigan Universities Announce Minority Mentoring Program 


      Officials with four state universities announced a new mentoring program designed to give minority students studying science, math, technology and engineering more help toward earning bachelor’s degrees.

      Michigan State, Wayne State and Western Michigan universities and the University of Michigan are financing the 5-year, $5 million Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation program along with a grant from the National Science Foundation.

      The schools want to increase the number of underrepresented minorities in engineering and technical fields by 50 percent in five years and double the number in 10 years, the Detroit Free Press reported this week.

      The program will create research opportunities, internships and residential learning programs for minorities in math and the sciences, according to university officials. The program will be based at the University of Michigan, with satellite offices at the other three campuses.

      â€śAmerica is not producing enough graduates right now to replace the scientists and engineers that will retire by the end of the decade,” U-M President Mary Sue Coleman said while introducing the program. “And the next generation of scientists and researchers must be as diverse as our nation.”

      Only 24 percent of Michigan residents have bachelor’s degrees, compared with about 29 percent nationally, according to 2004 U.S. Census data. Blacks and Hispanics in the state have about a 15-percent graduation rate, compared with national rates of 17 percent for blacks and 12 percent for Hispanics.

—Associated Press

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