The University of Michigan, like the rest of the nation, shares a deep concern for the educational and human resource development of U.S. citizens in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The economic success of the United States in the last century is clearly correlated to the extraordinarily high number of scientific breakthroughs and engineering innovations made on our soil. As the pace of innovation continues to accelerate, and the technological expertise in countries like India, China, and Brazil grows, the demand for graduates with both specific STEM content and general STEM competencies continues to increase. But technical knowledge is no longer enough to be successful in this global landscape. Our graduates must also be able to collaborate across cultural, racial, gender, and socioeconomic differences.
Our mission: The mission of the Michigan STEM Academies Scholars Program (M-STEM) at the University of Michigan (UM) is to strengthen and diversify the cohort of students who receive their baccalaureate degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), with the ultimate goal of increasing the number and diversity of students who are well prepared to seek career opportunities or to pursue graduate or professional training in the STEM disciplines in the new global economy.
Our approach: The M-STEM Academies provide an integrated, holistic co-curricular support system for students with high ability and potential in science that also possess traits, such as socioeconomic status, first generation college status, race, and gender, that suggest they are uniquely suited to collaborate across differences. M-STEM supports students in their transition from high school to college and during the first two years of college. Scholarship support is critical to enable M-STEM Scholars to fully invest their time and effort in academic pursuits.
History and scope: The M-STEM Academy in the College of Engineering began in 2008 and now enrolls around 60 new students annually. The M-STEM Academy in the Biological Sciences in the College of Literature, Science and the Arts (LSA) began in 2011 with 20 students and will grow to 40 students per year beginning in 2013. In 2014, we expanded to cover all the natural sciences in LSA, including physics, biophysics, chemistry, astronomy, earth and environmental sciences, and mathematics. Thus, this program represents a unique partnership in undergraduate STEM education across the entire University.