Careers in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) are growing in demand. The IN LSAMP (Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation) program at Ivy Tech Community College Central Indiana strives to increase the recruitment, retention, and graduation rates of underrepresented minority students in STEM fields. Eric Raymond, an aspiring bio-medical engineer at Ivy Tech with an anticipated graduation in Fall 2020, is one of the many students in this program.
“The [LSAMP] program helps you get your foot in the door,” Raymond said. “They have many connections and as long as you try your best in everything you do, they will help you.”
The College is strongly committed to implementing various activities that foster growth and success for students to achieve each of LSAMP’s goals. These goals include:
- Strengthen students’ academic preparation
- Increase student engagement with their STEM discipline
- Retain students in STEM majors all the way to their graduation
- Transition students from community college to four-year institutions
- Prepare students for STEM careers and graduate school through professional development.
“[LSAMP at Ivy Tech] are more than willing to call you when you hit a rough patch and are very helpful with job and internship related things when you are busy with school,” Raymond said.
According to the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, there is a high demand for STEM professionals, but the supply of qualified STEM workers to fill this demand is at risk as long as underrepresented minority groups are not engaged in these fields.
“[LSAMP has] opened new doors for me,” Raymond added. “They have shown me people like me who are out there doing the same thing I want to do, with the same background as me.”
Students in this program participate in activities such as peer mentoring, tutoring, and faculty-mentored research at one of the alliance’s four-year institutions. These activities help students develop crucial skills and learning strategies that tailor them for success both at college and in the STEM workforce.
“[Ivy Tech] has many teachers that care for your success. They will help you as much as the can to ensure a brighter future.”
Raymond went on to describe some meaningful connections he made through the LSAMP program.
“Donna Staling is always there to give great advice on what needs to be done and what is the best way to do things.”
Students who are accepted as LSAMP scholars receive stipends for their active participation as tutors, peer mentors and researchers. These efforts ideally lead to increased numbers of underrepresented minority students who earn baccalaureate degrees in STEM fields as well as an increased minority presence in the STEM workforce.
“I started out in engineering not really knowing what to expect and not that confident,” he said. “As I went through the courses, I would struggle but I would never give in. I loved solving the problems that were given to me. I wanted to succeed.”
With his anticipated graduation just around the corner, it appears that success and completion are in Raymond’s near future. For more information on how to become an LSAMP scholar, visit http://ivytech.edu/LSAMP or email firstname.lastname@example.org.