The New Mexico Alliance for Minority Participation has received a five-year, $4 million grant renewal from the National Science Foundation for 2018-2023. New Mexico State University is the lead institution for the statewide program that was created in 1993.
New Mexico AMP helps underrepresented minority students in the state with activities designed to increase student recruitment, retention and graduation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The program also supports academic and professional development of underrepresented STEM students.
“This continued funding allows us to continue the programs we’ve been successful with, and to better understand what makes them work. We continually assess our programs so that we can make them as effective as possible,” said J. Phillip King, New Mexico AMP director and civil engineering professor at NMSU.
With the newest funding from the NSF STEM Pathways and Research Alliances, New Mexico AMP will include a new social sciences component. Social science experts will increase the availability of contexts and opportunities for experiences that promote the development of a positive academic and scientific identity. The social science component will broadly disseminate learning from a rigorous, mixed methods social science research project and translation into practices for New Mexico AMP and to encourage change in STEM education, King said.
“The NM Alliance for Minority Participation has a long track record of great work to create opportunities for students to pursue careers in STEM disciplines – and in supporting students as they embark on that journey,” said Richard L. Wood, interim provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at the University of New Mexico. “Equally important, NM AMP systematically reaches out to students who sometimes have been excluded or have excluded themselves from considering such careers.
"This will help UNM and all of New Mexico’s universities be part of creating the pipeline American society needs, of diverse leaders comfortable collaborating with people from all kinds of backgrounds. That the National Science Foundation recognizes this good work with the new grant only confirms what we know from experience: this work matters for our students and for the future we will all share.”
Since New Mexico AMP was established, the number of bachelor degrees in STEM fields for underrepresented minority students has more than tripled from 253 in 1992-1993 to 858 in 2015-2016. The percentage of bachelor degrees in STEM fields awarded to underrepresented minority students doubled from 24 to 48 percent during that period as well.
Approximately 1,500 students in New Mexico are served through outreach, mentoring, tutoring, bridge programs, undergraduate research, learning communities, professional development workshops and presentation events.
The statewide NM AMP Alliance provides a number of opportunities for undergraduate STEM students in NM," said Laura Crossey, UNM's AMP Institutional Coordinator and co-PI on the award. "Students who identify early (high school) are exposed to STEM undergraduates representing NM institutions of higher education each fall at the NM AMP conference. Those at two-year schools have the chance to apply to transfer scholarships and the summer SCCoRE program, providing them with an entry experience at a very critical transition to the four-year school."
All students in STEM majors become eligible for AMP Undergraduate Research Scholarships (URS) once at their four-year destination, including UNM. At UNM, URS and transfer scholarship recipients are placed in research groups with exciting research engagements close to the students' area of interest.
"These mentored experiences are found to be highly impactful, and help a STEM undergraduate become prepared and more eligble for graduate student opportunities. AMP participation also enables a student to be eligible for an AMP Bridge to the Doctorate: opportunities for great graduate support at selected institutions," added Crossey.
Students interested in finding our more about AMP undergraduate research opportunities should contact the AMP Institutional Coordinator, Laura Crossey (firstname.lastname@example.org). For those interested in MENTORING an AMP URS, please contact us as well!
While NMSU is the lead institution, the New Mexico AMP partnership has seven university partners: Eastern New Mexico University, New Mexico Highlands University, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Northern New Mexico College, University of New Mexico and Western New Mexico University; and seven community college partners; Central New Mexico College, Luna Community College, NMSU-Alamogordo, NMSU-Carlsbad, NMSU-Dona Ana Community College, Santa Fe Community College and San Juan Community College.