To achieve Iowa NSF EPSCoR’s goal of increasing the active participation of undergradute students in research, particularly those from underrepresented groups, its research teams employed several strategies:
- A Diversity Taskforce was formed to begin a state-wide dialogue to better understand student barriers and identify solutions supporting the full participation of underrepresented groups in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines.
- Alliances between the research platforms and community colleges were formed to better situate underrepresented students.
- Community college students networked into the STEM research community via mentoring by EPSCoR faculty members.
- Partnerships with existing diversity-focused programs were established to coordinate the recruitment of under-represented minority students.
- Undergraduates were encouraged to participate in Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) programs, both within our state and beyond.
Iowa NSF EPSCoR Annual All-Hands Meeting Student Poster Competition
Research-focused student poster competitions were held at every Iowa EPSCoR Annual All-Hands Meeting. The competitions provided an opportunity for students affiliated with an Iowa institute of education to showcase their current or completed research and earn a cash prize.
RISE: Reigniting the Sophomore Experience
Iowa NSF EPSCoR collaborated with the Multicultural Student Affairs office at Iowa State University to develop a new program designed to promote the success of second-year students. Although the program specifically targets students who are struggling in terms of satisfactory academic progress and/or in selecting a major, the program is open to all second-year under-represented minority students. Bi-monthly lunch workshops will be held throughout the academic year.
Iowa Community College-to-University Transition Guides
A transition guide is a transfer planning resource developed by Iowa community college and university instructors and advisers in a specific academic discipline. These guides are offered by the Iowa Mathematics and Science Education Partnership (IMSEP).