The Michigan Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (MI-LSAMP) is a National Science Foundation (NSF) program which seeks to:
Initially funded in 2005, MI-LSAMP became uniquely positioned to address a critical issue facing the State of Michigan when the passage of State Proposal 2 in 2006 crippled the ability for Michigan’s universities to use race as a factor in the admissions process and allocation of financial aid. As a result, degree production of URM students plummeted to levels not seen since the 1970s. Because of LSAMP’s unique positioning within the congressionally approved federal budget, the program was able to direct much-needed funding to bolster URM programming despite Proposal 2 strictures and kept enrollment and earned degree levels from precipitously plunging across the state. Subsequently, the economic collapse in 2008 drove enrollment decreases across the board. While enrollment and degree production increased starting in 2010, the percentage of degrees awarded to URM students in STEM fields within the partner institutions continued to decrease until 2012. Since that time, URM STEM enrollment in the institutions has increased with the expansion of student academic and financial support options, and as the Alliance has successfully piloted significant retention strategies to boost student success.
WHO WE SERVE
The MI-LSAMP serves a wide range of constituencies. First and foremost are the underrepresented students to whom we provide a broad array of STEM educational supportive and adjunctive services designed to spur their academic and professional success and continue to pique their interest in STEM. We also serve the parents of these students by equipping them with information and resources to help them maximize the social, emotional and financial role they play in their student’s success. We partner with K-12 educational institutions and organizations to recruit the very best students to our programs. Equally important are our partner faculty, who provide research experiences and mentoring and receive in return the most up-to-date research and strategy information and data on maximizing URM student retention and achievement; and a plethora of STEM and student support departments, which allow us to leverage our services with additional student resources. Finally, our public and private sector employer partners provide internship, co-op and permanent employment in the wide range of STEM fields available to our students and graduates. This constituent “village” works every day to meet the nation’s challenge of identifying and employing STEM students and graduates who will address critical technological challenges faced by the United States and the world.
MI-LSAMP boasts six university and community college partners: University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Wayne State University, Western Michigan University, Mott Community College, Washtenaw Community College
These partners work synergistically to share resources and best practices, provide a wide array of research and student enrichment programs, create spaces for URM STEM students to network statewide, and leverage additional collaborations with public and private engineering employers.
The Alliance has achieved a number of noteworthy accomplishments. Each of our four-year partner institutions operates pre-first-year summer programs, one of the essential “best practices” for student retention. In 2019, the Alliance piloted a collaboration between the University of Michigan and the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). UM invested more than $200,000 in NSBE’s Annual Conference in 2019 held in Detroit, Michigan and was able to access and recruit top STEM students from around the country. Other institutions have noted and followed this model of strategic investment in URM students.
Since the inception of the Alliance, more than 2,500 URM students have directly benefited from programming, including: academic year and summer research funding, conference travel funding, summer bridge participation, training and workshops. Alliance partners have accounted for over 7,500 undergraduate degrees granted to Michigan URMs in STEM fields and placement of nearly 1,100 students from four-year institutions and community colleges into significant research activities.
“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”
– Alvin Toffler, Author & Thought Leader
© 2022, Michigan Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation. All Rights Reserved
Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. The Michigan-Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), award number 2019942.