Texas A&M University System LSAMP: Sustaining the Progress, Phase V
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The Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program assists universities and colleges in diversifying the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) workforce through the development of highly competitive students from groups historically underrepresented in STEM disciplines: African-Americans, Alaska Natives, American Indians, Hispanic Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Native Pacific Islanders. The goal of the LSAMP Bridge to the Doctorate (BD) Activity is to increase the quantity and quality of STEM graduate students from underrepresented populations, with emphasis on Ph.D. matriculation and completion. For the U.S. to remain globally competitive, it is vital that it taps into the talent of all its citizens and provides exceptional educational preparedness in STEM areas that underpin the knowledge-based economy. Texas A&M University, lead institution of the Texas A&M University System (TAMUS) LSAMP, will host their 11th cohort of BD Fellows. The goal of the program is to foster academic success in a cohort of twelve first-time underrepresented STEM graduate students by developing their readiness and encouraging eagerness to complete STEM doctoral degrees and by preparing them to take their place as leaders in interdisciplinary research and in academia. By increasing the number of well-prepared and highly qualified Ph.Ds that ultimately enter the STEM workforce, TAMUS LSAMP BTD program has the potential to contribute significantly to the increase of this nation''s economy and prosperity. The objectives of the TAMUS LSAMP BD Program will be achieved through collaborations among the College of Science (COS), the Dwight Look College of Engineering (COE), the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (COALS), and the College of Geosciences (COG) at TAMU. The five major components of the program are (1) professional development, (2) academic support and social integration, (3) mentoring, (4) leadership development, and (5) student support and community building. The twelve BD Fellows with differing STEM disciplines and a common purpose will be nurtured for two years as a cohorted community and will share coordinated resources and intellectually enriching group activities with each other, and also with the larger population of STEM graduate students at TAMU, for the benefit of all. The objectives of the program include (1) retention of fellows into doctoral programs with funding after completion of the two-year NSF BD program, (2) preparation of fellows to meet the challenges of completing STEM doctoral programs and for possible academic careers in higher education, and (3) leadership skill development necessary to succeed as young STEM professionals upon completion of doctoral programs of study. Out of the 60 BD fellows supported in the first five cohorts at TAMU, 26 have completed their Ph.Ds. in STEM and 12 are progressing well towards the doctoral degree.