Thursday, March 18, 2010

Tennessee State University Leads Project to Support STEM Disciplines

With science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines on the rise, Tennessee State University has been designated for another year as lead institution for the Tennessee Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (TLSAMP).

Also, the program, which is funded by the National Science Foundation to increase access to underrepresented minorities, is entering the second phase of a grant totally $3,440,319. Dr. Lonnie Sharpe, TLSAMP executive director and TSU professor, explained the program would now more aggressively recruit and retain students, as well as prepare students for graduate studies.

“The goal of our first phase was to double the number of underrepresented minorities receiving STEM degrees and substantially increase the number of underrepresented STEM professionals to meet the needs of government, industry and academia by the end of the five-year grant period,” said Dr. Lonnie Sharpe, TLSAMP executive director and TSU professor.

Since 2008, Louis Stokes Minority Alliance Participation colleges and universities have benefitted from the partnership with the National Science Foundation and have enrolled approximately 3,000 underrepresented minorities annually in the STEM disciplines and related workforce.

“We feel confident in the second phase and will continue best practices. Basic principles of TLSAMP include personal attention, peer and faculty mentoring, hands-on experiences, bridges to the next level and continuous evaluation. We are preparing to carry out and further study these principles from the high school to the undergraduate level through completion of the doctorate,” Sharpe added.  

Institutions in the TLSAMP partnership include LeMoyne-Owen College, Middle Tennessee State University, University of Memphis, University of Tennessee at Knoxville and Vanderbilt University. 

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