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New program to increase minority students in science, engineering
STANFORD -- Stanford University, in conjunction with six other universities and with support from the National Science Foundation, is embarking on a five-year program to recruit, retain, fund and graduate more minority students in engineering and the sciences.
The programs will begin with the next academic year and run through at least 1998, according to Noe Paul Lozano of the School of Engineering.
"We are expecting to decrease the number of minorities who 'switch' out of engineering into other majors, and increase the graduation rate for those who declare engineering," Lozano said.
The school hopes to increase its graduation rate for minorities (currently 88 percent in four or five years) to close to 100 percent.
The National Science Foundation's newly formed Alliance for Minority Participation includes three historically black colleges and universities (North Carolina A&T State University, Southern University in Louisiana and Prairie View A&M in Texas) and four major research universities (Stanford, the University of Michigan, the University of Washington and the University of Texas-Austin).
The NSF has committed $1 million per year for the program. Stanford will receive five annual grants of $132,500, for a total of $662,500, for its role in the effort.
Lozano, associate dean for student affairs and director for Minority and Affirmative Action Programs in the School of Engineering, will oversee the programs along with Professor Reginald Mitchell, mechanical engineering.
The new alliance, Lozano said, proposes a comprehensive plan that focuses on the retention of undergraduate minority students in science and engineering. Attention will also be directed toward high school and community college students who may want help in deciding whether to study in the sciences or engineering.
All seven universities involved, Lozano said, seek programs "with the philosophy of community-building principles to develop stronger and long-lasting environments of support for minority students."
Discussions at Stanford have already led to a plan to develop programs in three areas: academic enrichment, outreach and community college "linkages," and corporate involvement.
Specific programs Stanford plans to introduce include:
Lozano and Mitchell will work out the details of implementing the programs with a group of faculty and administrators that include: James Montoya, director of undergraduate admissions; Michael Jackson, dean of students; Cheryll Hawthorne-Searight, assistant dean for student affairs in the School of Engineering; Jim Larimore, assistant dean of students; Michele Marincovich, director of the Center for Teaching and Learning; Hector Cuevas, director of undergraduate advising; and Professors Brad Osgood (mathematics), Mason Yearian (physics) and John Bravman (materials science and engineering).
In addition, James Gibbons, dean of the School of Engineering, has provided vital support for the new programs and will offer matching funds of 1.5 to 1, Lozano said.
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