President Freeman Hrabowski presented the findings on September 30 from a congressionally mandated report that outlines a national plan to engage underrepresented minorities in all levels of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.
Hrabowski, chair of the committee that produced the report, told the audience at the National Academies’ Keck Center in Washington D.C. that a first step is the development of programs and support systems to improve the retention rate of students who start university or college with an interest in science and engineering.
The country must also strengthen all levels of pre-school and K-12 education, Hrabowski said, as part of a national effort to prepare more underrepresented minorities for careers in science and engineering.
Slides from Hrabowski’s presentation, photos from the event and links to a news release and the report can be found on the National Academies’ website.
A blog post on the report from Science can be viewed here.
The report notes that UMBC is among the top U.S. institutions—and the top producer among predominantly white institutions—for preparing African Americans who went on to complete doctorates in the natural sciences and engineering between 2002 and 2006.
UMBC’s Meyerhoff Scholars Program is recognized in the report as a model of the kind of program needed at universities and colleges across the country to increase the number of underrepresented minorities pursuing careers in the natural sciences and engineering. The Meyerhoff Program is a focused effort to increase diversity in the natural sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields by recruiting, supporting and graduating students who go on to doctoral study.