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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:University of Arkansas
  • Paul D Adams
  • (479) 575-5621
  • Carol Gattis
  • Bryan Hill
  • Leslie M Yingling
  • Yvette Murphy-Erby
Award Date:12/05/2017
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 999,847
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 999,847
  • FY 2018=$999,847
Start Date:01/01/2018
End Date:12/31/2022
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.076
Primary Program Source:045176 H-1B FUND, EHR, NSF
Award Title or Description:Closing the STEM Labor Gap through a Path to Graduation for Low Income, Rural Students
Federal Award ID Number:1742496
DUNS ID:191429745
Parent DUNS ID:055600001
Program Officer:
  • Andrea Nixon
  • (703) 292-5323

Awardee Location

Street:210 Administration Building
Awardee Cong. District:03

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:University of Arkansas
Street:CHEM Building Room 236
Cong. District:03

Abstract at Time of Award

With funding from the National Science Foundation's Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (S-STEM) program, the "Path to Graduation" program (PTG) at the University of Arkansas aims to close the STEM labor gap by recruiting previously overlooked populations and increasing the number of low-income students, especially those from rural regions. Degree programs aimed at producing a high-quality STEM workforce are a national priority that underpins progress in science, the advancement of national health initiatives, and overall national prosperity in an increasingly technical economy. While the STEM-based economy has been an enormous economic boon in some regions, others are falling further behind economically due in part to their inability to meet STEM labor demands. Arkansas is an example of one such state that struggles to meet its STEM labor needs, ranks 49th in college attendance, and 45th per capita in Bachelor of Science degrees in scientific and engineering fields. Previous STEM student recruitment and retention efforts have largely ignored the unique challenges faced by low-income students from rural areas. These students often struggle with academic persistence in college due to insufficient funds, poor academic preparation by their small, financially struggling schools, and little social support given the lack of college-going culture in their communities. PTG will adapt proven student retention and graduation initiatives to better address the financial, academic, and social barriers to success so that these students can thrive and succeed in their STEM studies. Not only will the program increase both the size and the diversity of Arkansas' STEM labor pool, it has the potential to create best practices for recruiting and retaining low-income STEM students, especially those from rural areas. These practices can then be implemented in other remote, economically challenged regions of the country, developing pipelines of STEM talent, creating new regional STEM technology centers, improving these regions' economic well-being, and bringing much needed diversity to STEM fields. Through academic, financial, and social initiatives, PTG will help 36 students thrive and excel in their STEM degree programs at the University of Arkansas. Students will be recruited largely from rural, impoverished regions of Arkansas where large populations of underrepresented minority and first-generation students are prevalent but opportunities for a STEM education are not. Two cohorts of 18 STEM students per year will receive annually renewable scholarships of up to $4,500, or $5,500 if they join the Honors College. These students will participate in PTG's evidence-based retention and graduation initiatives, including: an in-residence summer bridge program; a Living-Learning Community (shared housing); Academic Success Advising; faculty and peer mentoring; and on-campus or industry-based research opportunities. PTG will help identify and describe the barriers deterring low-income students, especially low-income students from rural backgrounds, from achieving a STEM degree. PTG will develop and implement retention programs for low-income, rural STEM students and will contribute significantly to the STEM education literature by developing and evaluating much needed initiatives for under-served, low-income, rural populations that frequently struggle with academic persistence.

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