Department of Education Gives $3 Million to Expand Minorities in STEM Education
Shawn Wasserman posted on October 28, 2015 |
The Department of Education has awarded over 13 American universities and colleges awards totalling $3 million dollars for their efforts to improve diversity in STEM fields.

“Strengthening these institutions that serve large minority populations in STEM is vital to building a strong economy and competitive workforce, while helping ensure that all students have the opportunity to be successful in college, careers and life,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

The grants are funded through the Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program (MSEIP). The three-year awards aim to support activities such as:

  • Pre-college STEM enrichment
  • Tutoring
  • Advancing research skills
  • Faculty training
  • Curriculum development
  • Lab/classroom renovation
  • Activities to limit barriers for minorities to gain entry into STEM fields

“These grants will help ensure that students, particularly our underrepresented and minority students, are well-prepared for the 21st century global marketplace and on the path to a successful future in a STEM field,” added Duncan.

The U.S. Department of Commerce reported that graduates in a STEM field earn 26 percent more than graduates in other fields. Additionally, the report stated that STEM fields will grow twice as fast as other fields by 2018. As a result, bolstering the numbers of minorities in STEM education now will play a large role improving job and financial equality in America.

The added benefit of MSEIP and similar programs that promote minorities in STEM is the link between innovation and diversity. The more diverse a team, the more backgrounds, experiences and different ways of thinking that team will have. As a result, the team will have access to more ideas to help innovate designs. Therefore, boosting the number of minorities in STEM should translate to improved economic standings overall.

In a video interview with, Ray Johnson, Lockheed Martin’s CTO, agreed. “The part that’s a really important component of diversity is linkage to innovation,” he said. “What we find is that people with a different perspective, not just race, creed and color, but different background, different education, different environments, they come in and look at a problem in a very different way. And as they do, they bring innovative solutions.”

For more articles on programs aimed at improving diversity in STEM click on the list below:

Winners of the MSEIP grant.





Alabama A&M University



Alabama State University



University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff



San Mateo County Community College District - Canada College


District of Columbia

Howard University



Morehouse College



Rust College


North Carolina

North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University


North Carolina

North Carolina Central University


New York

City University of New York - Borough of Manhattan Community College


New York

City University of New York - New York City College of Technology


Puerto Rico

Inter American University of Puerto Rico - Arecibo Campus



University of Texas at San Antonio


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