At Stony Brook University, one of 62 research universities in the American Association of Universities, we’ve focused on attracting and supporting economically disadvantaged students who have great potential but who may not have excelled at a low-performing high school. And we’ve built an array of programs to assist them in a comprehensive way.
First, our Educational Opportunity Program/Advancement on Individual Merit (EOP/AIM) offers services to economically disadvantaged students with potential to succeed in college but didn’t receive adequate academic preparation in high school. In addition to extra tutoring, counseling and a social network, EOP/AIM offers Summer Academy, a mandatory semester that economically disadvantaged students attend the summer before their first year of college. Students take courses in mathematics, Africana studies, writing and philosophy, and also learn study skills and time management.
As part of the process, a personal map is created for each student, taking the student from where he or she is at the outset (what skills on arrival) to where the student wants to be on graduation (what future aspirations). Ongoing guidance and mentoring is provided by staff members, as are introductions to interested alumni who can help steer students on their career paths.
Second, STEM Smart is an umbrella organization of seven programs that offer enrichment programs to underrepresented students majoring in STEM disciplines (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).
Third, the Women In Science and Engineering (WISE) program has been nationally recognized for its efforts in attracting and retaining women interested in STEM disciplines.
Fourth, the Center for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Education (CESAME) coordinates a series of programs and strategies to promote access and availability of STEM education to underrepresented and female populations.