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, identity, and in most cases,  fail to predict student success. These out-dated metrics serve as a barrier to many historically excluded/Underrepresented populations (UR = minority, low income, first generation, people with disabilities, LGBTQ+). Following the sabermetrics revolution in sports analytics, the STEM Scholars program is interested in working with “undervalued talent” to fill the gaps in our higher education system & more specifically, in how we train and develop students in the sciences. 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, ACT/SAT, & ISU GPA scores are an entry point for a broader discussion of ‘the story behind the numbers’. Underrepresented populations have strengths and skill sets that are not always captured in a resume/CV that make for better scientists, health professionals, veterinarians, and leaders.  The STEM Scholars helps our students develop these strengths and how to apply them toward achieving their academic and professional goals. We develop talent. STEM Scholars develops an individualized development plans around academic and professional success toward the student’s identified career goals. With every science degree, STEM Scholars are making a difference for their families, their 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 are guided through and create 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 support and to have experiences with running workshops for their peers and community (e.g. developing their own infrastructure )at ISU and at their future institutions or private sector 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. Our alumni play an important role in reaching back into the community. 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.