WKU One of Nine Schools Receiving Grant Money to Boost Minority Students in STEM Fields

Apr 25, 2014

WKU hopes to attract more minority students into degrees related to the STEM fields.
Credit WKU

WKU is part of a collaborative effort to increase the number of minority students pursuing degrees in the so-called “STEM” fields.

WKU and eight other higher education institutions in the commonwealth and West Virginia have been awarded a five-year, $ 2.5 million National Science Foundation grant that will primarily focus on undergraduates seeking diplomas in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

WKU’s Associate Vice President for Retention and Student Services, Joelle Davis Carter, says she hopes some of the school’s grant money will be used to create a “summer bridge” program.

“This would be an opportunity for prospective college students to come to campus a little earlier, maybe five weeks earlier, stay on campus, and participate in reiterations of math and science,” she told WKU Public Radio.

Other grant recipients include the Universities of Louisville and Kentucky, Centre College, and Kentucky State.

According to information released by WKU, data from the grant participants indicates that the effort has to potential to impact up to 5,000 undergraduate states in Kentucky and West Virginia.

“If students have the motivation--even if their ACT scores don’t demonstrate that they have the aptitude—but if they have the academic motivation, and if we have the resources to meet them halfway, then often times students can be very successful,” Carter said.

The grant will support the existing efforts of the Kentucky-West Virginia Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP).