The Texas A&M System Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (TAMUS LSAMP) is a partnership comprised of Texas A&M UniversityTexas A&M University – Corpus Christi, and Prairie View A&M University committed to increasing the number of underrepresented students participating in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. The Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) is a National Science Foundation (NSF) program designed to foster achievement in minority students seeking degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The goal is to increase the number of underrepresented minority (URM) students who complete baccalaureate and doctoral degrees in STEM fields and, ultimately, enter the ranks of the faculty.

LSAMP students enjoy enriching experiences, such as personal development and leadership development activities, as well as activities to strengthen academic learning. Activities include participation in cohort-based learning communities, supplemental instruction, mentoring relationships with faculty and more experienced students, an annual LSAMP symposium, research conferences, undergraduate research experiences, industry and laboratory internships, and networks for STEM opportunity information updates.

When the program began in 1990, minority students earned 3,914 of the STEM bachelor’s degrees awarded in the U.S. By 1998, the number of degrees awarded to minority students increased to 20,538 as a result of LSAMP programs around the country. In 2004, there were more than 30 LSAMP programs in the United States. Originally entitled the Alliance for Minority Participation (AMP), it was renamed the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation program in 1999 to honor U.S. House Representative Louis Stokes, cofounder of the Congressional Black Caucus.

As of March 2014, the TAMUS LSAMP program entered its renewal NSF-funded project, entitled Sustaining the Progress. During the previous phase of funding, Phase IV, the primary focus was directed on preparing students to engage in research, providing opportunities for qualified students to participate in research projects supervised by faculty members, and encouraging students to present their research results at science and engineering conferences. Objectives for Sustaining the Progress include the following: (1) institutionalize successful recruitment and retention efforts for URM STEM majors, (2) sustain STEM student transfer through continued and new relationships with community colleges and the three Alliance campuses, (3) increase participation in STEM undergraduate research, including international experiences, to stimulate interest and enrollment in graduate programs and create a model program that increases the number of globally competitive URM STEM graduates, and (4) link and leverage other NSF projects at Alliance partner institutions, especially those involving veterans as STEM students, for synergy and to disseminate findings. STEM students from URM groups currently enrolled at Texas A&M University,  Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi, or Prairie View A&M University are eligible to be part of TAMUS LSAMP.

Dr. Shannon D. Walton,

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