Arkansas Alliance for Minority Participation (ARLSAMP) in STEM Careers Executive Summary (Intellectual Merit and Broader Impact) The Arkansas Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (ARLSAMP) is a collaborative alliance of nine institutions, including two Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and two two-year institutions, which has a goal of increasing the pool of baccalaureate, masters, and doctoral degree graduates in STEM disciplines in Arkansas? workforce. Through ARLSAMP, for the first time, there is an assembly and networking of a representative number of public and private institutions mobilized by the embracement of a common need to produce more well-qualified STEM graduates; guided by a shared vision to help make Arkansas, the region, and the nation a more competitive force in the sciences. The activities of the alliance will address recruitment (both from secondary schools and from two-year colleges). A Pre-Freshmen an ARLSAMP Summer Institute will help to prepare first semester freshmen to successfully navigate the transition to college level coursework. A review of bottleneck courses will result in interventions to prevent students from being removed from the STEM pipeline at these critical points. Summer and academic year research in faculty laboratories will provide extracurricular involvement in research at the forefront of STEM. Mentoring programs will provide for peer mentoring (upper-level student to lower-level student) as well as faculty mentoring. A STEM seminar series will provide training in research ethics, as well as information on STEM careers, STEM in society, and preparation for Graduate School. Alliance-wide and inter-institutional conferences and activities will foster greater collaborative research among faculty across institutions. Intellectual Merit: This proposal will build upon and add to the knowledge base of best practices for increasing the number of underrepresented minorities entering, succeeding in, and completing undergraduate degrees in STEM disciplines with the ability and desire to pursue advanced degrees within these disciplines. These will include practices for recruiting students to STEM, retaining students in STEM, and preparing them for pursuing advanced STEM degrees. Broader Impacts: The increase in the number of underrepresented students receiving baccalaureate degrees in STEM will provide an enhanced workforce for the state of Arkansas. Those continuing to obtain graduate degrees will increase the pool of students going into leadership and faculty positions in STEM areas. The research experiences of the students will increase the number of entrepreneurial ventures in STEM areas. Requirements for students and faculty mentors to visit other alliance institutions will bring increases in cross institutional collaborations among faculty and researchers. The use of ARLSAMP student scholars in public outreach and recruiting to K-12 schools will provide a positive feedback loop to increase the number of students who pursue STEM degrees when they get to college.
The Arkansas Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (ARK-LSAMP) began in 2008 and was funded by the National Science Foundation Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation. The overall goal of ARK-LSAMP was to increase the number of underrepresented minorities who major, graduate and obtain positions in Arkansas' and the national workforce in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). The Alliance is extremely proud of our partnership with the Arkansas Science and Technology Authority over the last six years which has allowed us to continuously support our students throughout their undergraduate career. The impact of a program of this magnitude had profound benefits for the state of Arkansas, our region and the nation. ARK-LSAMP is composed of eight colleges and universities all located within the state of Arkansas. The Alliance is strengthened by its commonality and by its diversity. There are seven public and one private institution including two 2-year colleges, one 4-year college and five universities. The participating institutions were: Arkansas State University (ASU); Philander Smith College (PSC); Pulaski Technical College (PTC); Southeast Arkansas College (SEARK); University of Arkansas, Fayetteville (UAF); University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR); University of Arkansas at Monticello (UAM); and University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB), the lead institution. The expected outcome of ARK-LSAMP was to help Arkansas join other states in the region in the national initiative to strengthen America's competitiveness and diversity in STEM. This was achieved through a well-coordinated set of educational, research and training enrichment activities on each campus resulting from collaborative engagement in planning for curricula enhancement, internships, guest lecturers, attendance and presentations at professional meetings, and other STEM-related activities. Particular emphasis was on select STEM disciplines such as biology, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, physics and engineering. Each ARK-LSAMP member campus was able to offer STEM enhancement programs for its ARK-LSAMP participants. ARK-LSAMP was guided overall by three objectives in the proposal from 2008-2014: 1) to increase the number of underrepresented minority (URM) students majoring in STEM fields by 50% within five (5) years at ARK-LSAMP colleges and universities; 2) to increase the number of URM students earning baccalaureate degrees by 50% within five (5) years at ARK-LSAMP colleges and universities; and 3) to increase the number of URM students entering graduate programs in STEM disciplines by 50% within five years at ARK-LSAMP colleges and universities. Our two most important outcomes have been the successful implementation of our Pre-First Year Summer Institute and our Annual Spring Research Conference. The best practices learned from our summer institute include the advantage of cohort grouping and learning communities during the academic year. At our Annual Spring Research Conference, students showcase the outcomes of ARK-LSAMP learned each year through summer and on-campus research opportunities. Students were given an opportunity to present and receive STEM research data. Also at the conference, a model is presented for ARK-LSAMP participants of a professional STEM research presentation. Additionally, student participants were given an opportunity to gain knowledge on applying for internships and graduate schools. Moreover, student participants were allowed to further facilitate networking and team-building among ARK-LSAMP students, staff, administrators, advisory board members, and funding agencies. To date, ARK-LSAMP has had sixty-six (66) graduates in STEM disciplines from all six of the 4-year campuses. A total of seven graduates from 2-year campuses transferred to 4-year alliance member campuses. Ten students have gone on to graduate school and several have joined the workforce in a STEM-related area. The ARK-LSAMP consistently places at least twenty-five (25) students in summer research experiences and internships each year.