Preparing Minority Students for STEM, Nursing Fields

Case Western Reserve is using two federal grants totaling nearly $5 million to try to increase the number of underrepresented minority students who become professors.

The university is focusing in particular on nursing and STEM fields—that is, science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The most recent data from the National Science Foundation (NSF) puts the total of underrepresented minorities in faculty positions at research universities at lower than 5 percent.

The NSF awarded one grant to an alliance of seven northern Ohio universities, which CWRU leads. It supports efforts to recruit and guide selected underrepresented minority students through graduate work and research.

A separate grant from the National Institutes of Health aims to help nursing students from underrepresented groups pursue doctoral degrees at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing. Fewer than 12 percent of faculty members at nursing schools nationwide are minorities.

"We're excited to see how these projects can positively affect research and student success," said Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies Charles Rozek, PhD.

By the numbers

National Institutes of Health
>> $1.17 million grant over 5 years
>> 20 nurses to pursue doctorates

National Science Foundation
>> $3.73 million grant over 3.5 years
>> 30 students across all seven institutions to pursue doctorates