Diversifying who succeeds in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math)

STEM Scholars: The Story Behind the Numbers

Our universities rely on traditional predictors of student success (GPA/ACT/SAT/GRE/MCAT), but these measures are strongly biased by socioeconomic status and identity and in most cases,  fail to predict student success. These out-dated metrics serve as an additional barrier to many underrepresented populations (UR = minority, low income, first generation, people with disabilities, LGBTQ+, etc). Following the sabermetrics revolution in sports (e.g. Moneyball), the STEM Scholars program is interested in working with “undervalued talent” to fill the gaps in our higher education system. Our application and interviews assess alternative measures of success and seeks members who can contribute to the STEM Scholar community at ISU and beyond.

High School GPA and ACT/SAT scores are an entry point for a broader discussion of ‘the story behind the numbers’. Underrepresented students have strengths and skill sets that are not fully utilized by our universities. STEM Scholars helps underrepresented students identify their strengths and how to apply them toward achieving their academic and professional goals. STEM Scholars starts where each member is and helps them develop an individualized plan to get them to where they want to be. With every STEM degree, UR-students are making a difference for their families, communities, and our larger society.

Developing Leaders and Change Agents: Changing the Face of Science

STEM Scholars provides opportunities and information for our members to take ownership and responsibility for their own successes. STEM Scholars puts the student in the driver seat of their own pathways into science through student-driven professional development activities, peer academic support, and staff advising. STEM Scholars seeks to develop leaders, creative problem solvers, and innovators. Graduates of the STEM Scholars will be prepared for a world without program and have the skills develop their own programs in their STEM careers.

STEM Scholars are members for life. We will support students to achieve their academic and professional goals after they leave Iowa State with their degree. For some STEM Scholars it means applying to graduate/vet/medical school programs while at Iowa State, but for many others, these career paths are fully realized after one to several years after their degree at ISU.