The University of Georgia (UGA) has received $2.5 million from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to expand a UGA STEM program statewide.
The NSF-sponsored program, Peach State Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP), is a coalition of six Georgia public colleges and universities formed to increase underrepresented students statewide who complete undergraduate and advanced STEM degrees.
The six schools are UGA, Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia State University-Perimeter College, Kennesaw State University, Fort Valley State University, and Savannah State University. The latter two schools are HBCUs.
The initiative provides academic opportunities, professional development, financial support, mentoring, and research opportunities.
Funding will be provided to the coalition to study the effects of faculty-led research opportunities for underrepresented students. It will enable Peach State LSAMP to launch tech workshops for 21st century STEM skills, such as data science, mass spectrometry, and scanning electron microscopy.
“Our goal is to ensure that LSAMP students are not only completing STEM degrees but also are highly competitive and prepared to pursue a wide range of career pathways, including graduate and professional school,” said Dr. Michelle Cook, UGA's senior vice provost and the initiative’s principal investigator. “These workshops will provide students with the knowledge and critical skills they will need to be successful in their chosen professions.”
Since the coalition’s 2006 launch, there has been a 325% increase in enrollment of students from underrepresented groups in STEM fields and a 550% increase in the number of these students graduating with bachelor's degrees in STEM at UGA, according to reporting from UGA Today.