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Federal Grants Aim to Boost STEM Equity


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U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan says the department's grants will "support higher level math and science instruction and prepare minority students for careers where their skills will be in high demand."

Credit: Chicago Tribune

Two programs created to get more minority and female students interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) subjects and careers have received about $6.3 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Education. The Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program will award about $2.82 million to 16 colleges and universities, including Jackson State University in Mississippi; Inter American University of Puerto Rico in Bayaman; and Northwest Indian College in Washington. The three-year grants range from about $97,000 to $200,000, and will help the institutions prepare underrepresented females and other minority students for STEM careers or post-secondary education.

Meanwhile, the Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement Program will award about $3.5 million in grants to help an additional 16 institutions prepare 400 promising students for doctoral studies. Institutions such as the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; the University of Hawaii; and Earlham College in Indiana will use the four-year McNair grants, which range from about $215,000 to $220,000, to provide counseling, mentoring, financial aid, internships and other activities.

"These grants support higher level math and science instruction and prepare minority students for careers where their skills will be in high demand," according to Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education, in a prepared statement.

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