Giving Compass’ Take:
· The author reports that although higher education has contributed greatly to improving STEM diversity, more efforts are needed to really make a difference.
· How have colleges improved STEM diversity? What else can be done to catalyze these efforts?
For more than a decade, Keith Harmon has helped oversee a rare success story in higher education.
Harmon is the director of the Meyerhoff Scholars Program, an initiative started 30 years ago at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County that has helped the college make serious inroads bridging equity gaps in STEM education.
The idea behind the program is simple. With the right supports — namely, a sense of a community and regular advising — underrepresented students in STEM can go further in their education and careers. “We expect them to expect a lot of themselves,” Harmon said. “There are high expectations, but they’re also highly resourced.”
So far it’s working, with the program boasting more than 1,300 alumni, Harmon said, and studies showing participants are 5.3 times more likely to pursue and complete master’s or Ph.D.s in STEM fields. (The program, which is open to applicants from all backgrounds, enrolls a majority of underrepresented students.)
Read the full article about STEM diversity by Natalie Schwartz at Education Dive.
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