NSF grant funds Purdue research into STEM student success (Purdue)

by STEMconnector

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – A team of researchers based at Purdue University has received a $973,000 grant from the National Science Foundation for a study aimed at helping students of low socioeconomic status succeed in scientific, technological, engineering and mathematical (STEM) fields.

The Rising Scholars program would augment Purdue’s existing mentoring and counseling programs with additional support services throughout the participating students’ undergraduate careers.

Robert Stwalley, assistant clinical professor of agricultural and biological engineering and principal investigator, said the study could help increase the number of low socio-economic status students pursuing careers in STEM fields.

“What we’re trying to do is something very practical,” Stwalley said. “We’re trying to bolt onto things the university already does. We are not looking to replace the students’ existing support networks but to add to them.”

Stwalley said existing admissions standards for highly competitive STEM fields typically include advanced placement test results, high school grade-point averages, interviews and essays, but do not take into account whether an applicant has a strong support system of adult mentors and role models who could motivate and guide the student to a successful academic career.

Read more at Purdue.edu

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