NACME Press Releases

2013 NACME National Symposium Strengthens the Research-Policy-Action Nexus in the National Effort to Increase Diversity with Equity in STEM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 11, 2013
 
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NACME Kicks Off 40th Anniversary Celebration,
Symposium and New Website, Just the Beginning

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — The National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, Inc. (NACME) launched its year-long 40th anniversary celebration with the very successful 2013 National Symposium in Washington, D.C. The event, which took place on October 1-3, focused on the issues facing underrepresented minorities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields of study and careers. NACME’s focus is on African American, American Indian, and Latino women and men.

Despite the federal shutdown, attendees at the Symposium opening dinner were greeted by a video message from U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz. Moniz recorded his message shortly before the mandated work-stoppage deadline to show his support of this very important topic. The video can be seen online on NACME’s newly redesigned website at nacme.org.

“We are grateful to Secretary Moniz for taking the time to film a video for our opening Symposium dinner. But more importantly, demonstrating his support and alignment with the NACME vision, mission, and strategy,” said Dr. Irving Pressley McPhail, president and CEO of NACME. “From the time of his appointment as Energy Secretary to the present, Dr. Moniz has made diversity with equity in the energy field a hallmark of his vision for the Department of Energy.”

The Symposium brought together a distinguished group of attendees from K-12 education, post-secondary education, business, government, and the nonprofit sector. This year NACME sought to strengthen the research-policy-action nexus in the national effort to increase diversity with equity in STEM education and careers, with a particular focus on engineering. Speakers and participants challenged existing paradigms and reframed the research-policy-action nexus by focusing on Catalyzing the Engineering Pathway for URM Students, Mathematics Education, STEM Teaching and Learning, Engineering Public Policy, and Engineering Workforce Development.

Notable speakers included, Vince Bertram, president and CEO of Project Lead the Way; Anthony P. Carnevale, director of the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce; Justin Draeger, president and CEO of the National Association of Student Financial Aid; Robert Moses, founder and president of The Algebra Project; Jacqueline Fleming, an independent researcher and Principal Investigator (PI) for NACME’s NSF-sponsored research project entitled, Success Factors for Minorities in Engineering: A Study of NACME Programs; and Willard Daggett the president and CEO of the International Center for Leadership in Education, Inc.

On October 2nd NACME convened special STEM sessions to examine and recommend federal policy advancing minority participation in STEM education and careers. The joint Congressional STEM sessions—originally scheduled to take place on Capitol Hill—were held as a special addition to the 2013 NACME National Symposium. Participants and attendees of the special STEM sessions, as well as those who attended the Symposium, have been given the opportunity to submit written testimony, which will be sent to those Members of Congress who originally convened this session and are leading the effort to advance minority participation STEM.

Video of most of the Symposium’s general sessions, the special STEM sessions, and keynote speakers can be viewed in the events section of the NACME website.

About NACME:

Since its inception in 1974, NACME has stayed true to its mission: To ensure American competitiveness in a flat world by leading and supporting the national effort to expand U.S. capability through increasing the number of successful African American, American Indian, and Latino women and men in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and careers.

NACME Alumni hold leadership positions in industry, medicine, law, education, and government. With funding from corporate and individual donors, NACME has supported more than 23,000 students with more than $124 million in scholarships and other support, and currently has more than 1,200 scholars at 51 partner institutions across the country. NACME is also implementing a middle school through community college strategy to increase the proportion of underrepresented minority students in STEM disciplines. www.nacme.org


Robert Moses, founder and president of The Algebra Project

Plenary speaker for the Mathematics Conundrum session, Robert Moses, founder and president of The Algebra Project.

Ensuring a Diverse Engineering Workforce session panel.

Ensuring a Diverse Engineering Workforce session panel. Picured (L-R): Sue Barsamian, senior vice president and general manager for Enterprise Group Global Sales, HP Enterprise Sales;  Mary Wright, program director, Jobs for the Future; Stephen Barkanic, senior vice president and chief program officer, Business-Higher Education Forum;Anthony Carnevale, Ph.D., director, Georgetown University Center for Education and the Workforce; and Susan Lewis, Houston area operations director, Dow Chemical Company. 

NACME RECEIVES $300K NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION GRANT

Funding to Support Significant Research Project: “Success Factors for
Minorities in Engineering”

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — The National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, Inc.  (NACME) is pleased to announce it has received an award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to conduct a major research project entitled, Success Factors for Minorities in Engineering: A Study of NACME Programs. The exact grant amount is $296,482 over a three-year period.

NACME is the largest private provider of scholarships for African American, American Indian, and Latino women and men pursuing bachelor’s degrees in engineering. NACME collaborates with a national network of 51 colleges and universities that collectively produce approximately 30 percent of the total number of bachelor’s degrees earned in engineering by underrepresented minority students. On average, NACME Scholars earn a 3.3 grade point average on a 4.0 scale, and earn bachelor’s degrees in engineering at a rate of 84 percent. In 2013, NACME supported approximately 1,300 students with $4.5 million in scholarship support.

Thirty-one of the 51 universities in the NACME partnership receive Block Grants. The Block Grants average $50,000 per year for five years and are used by the institutions to recruit, enroll, educate, retain, and graduate increasing numbers of underrepresented minority engineering students. NACME collects and analyzes student performance data on an annual basis from the Block Grant institutions. More importantly, NACME holds the institutions accountable for the success of NACME Scholars.

Despite the contributions from the minority engineering programs at these institutions, there has never been a comprehensive study that takes an empirical look at how that level of success is achieved, nor one that documents the practices that account for it. NACME has a practical need to know what program and student factors combine to facilitate minority engineering degrees. The objective of this project is to fill this void by discerning the factors that distinguish the most successful minority engineering programs.

The Co-Principal Investigators for the study are Dr. Jacqueline Fleming and Dr. Irving Pressley McPhail, President and Chief Executive Officer of NACME. Fleming is an internationally known psychologist, scholar, and researcher in the area of minority student retention and achievement. She is the award-winning author of Blacks in College published by Jossey-Bass. Working at the nexus of practice, policy, and research in literacy education, post-secondary student success, community college leadership, and STEM education, McPhail is also the co-editor of Teaching African American Learners to Read: Perspectives and Practices, published by the International Reading Association.

“Engineering has long been at the forefront of the scientific community in working to develop the minorities-in-engineering pipeline and thereby increasing the share of American students in engineering education. Their support for a study of this kind, promises to refine our understanding of what works and shine a spotlight on successful programs and practices,” said Fleming.

“All of us at NACME are absolutely ecstatic about this NSF award,” said McPhail. “The insights gained in this project will help NACME shape the standards and expectations for the programs and students we support. By comparing the project findings to the existing body of research on minorities in engineering education, the study seeks to establish the degree of generalization of these success factors to other evaluation efforts in STEM education. The proactive engineering community is poised to make practical use of the insights gained in this study in the national effort to increase the representation of African American, American Indian, and Latino women and men in engineering education and careers.”

About NACME:
Since its inception in 1974, NACME has stayed true to its mission: To ensure American resilience in a flat world by leading and supporting the national effort to expand U.S. capability through increasing the number of successful African American, American Indian, and Latino women and men in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and careers.

NACME Alumni hold leadership positions in industry, medicine, law, education, and government. With funding from corporate and individual donors, NACME has supported more than 24,000 students with more than $124 million in scholarships and other support, and currently has more than 1,300 scholars at 51 partner institutions across the country. NACME is also implementing a middle school through community college strategy to increase the proportion of underrepresented minority students in STEM disciplines. www.nacme.org

About NSF:

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2012, its budget was $7.0 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 50,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes about 11,500 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $593 million in professional and service contracts yearly. www.nsf.gov

MINORITIES ARE ANSWER TO U.S. SHORTAGE OF ENGINEERS

STEM Forum Panels Says 2M Engineers and Computer Scientists 
Needed in Next Decade

Palo Alto, CA – A prestigious panel of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) thought leaders assembled today at Hewlett Packard headquarters in Palo Alto called the looming shortage of U.S. engineers, the “New” American Dilemma. Business, education, and government leaders in attendance echoed the sentiment, saying it is a national imperative that companies act now to increase the number of underrepresented minorities (URMs) in STEM fields; otherwise, the nation’s ability to compete globally will be compromised.  

The HP/NACME STEM Leadership Forum: Confronting the “New” American Dilemma was convened to discuss the NACME STEM Integration Model and offer solutions aimed at addressing the engineering shortfall facing American companies. 

The panel grappled with the reality of the underrepresentation of minorities in science and engineering and conceded that the problem will only get worse if we don’t act now. 

“The problem isn’t new, but it is urgent,” says Dr. Irving McPhail, President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, Inc. (NACME). Dr. McPhail’s research, the 2011 NACME Data Book, demonstrated the egregiously low number of minorities in high school taking rigorous science, technology, and mathematics courses, making them unprepared to enter college engineering programs.

To frame the dilemma in statistical terms, in 2011, less than 14 percent of all engineering bachelor’s degrees were awarded to URMs, yet they represent 31 percent of the population. By ethnicity, the numbers paint an even grimmer picture. Latinos make up 16 percent of the population, but only 6 percent of the engineers; African American make up 12 percent of the population, but only 5 percent of engineers, and American Indians who are 1 percent of the U.S. population account for only 0.4 percent of all engineers. 

“This is clearly a dilemma for U.S. companies, many of whom are looking overseas to fill critical engineering positions,” stated McPhail during remarks at the Forum. “That said, working with business, education, and government leaders here at home we have developed the NACME STEM Integration Model which we strongly believe to be the right solution to confront this problem and will result in better outcomes for URMs.”

The NACME STEM Integration Model provides a pathway through leveraged partnership agreements with negotiated outcomes for students to move along the education to employment   continuum – from selected middle and high school programs to community colleges and universities, to on-the-job-experiences at major corporations that, ideally, lead to successful graduation outcomes and entry into the engineering workforce. 

NACME and its university and industry partners are convinced this approach will produce more minority engineers to meet the demands of the engineering workforce in the U.S. 

Silicon Valley companies like HP agree. HP is amongst the largest technology companies in the world employing over 330,000 people and doing business in more than 200 countries or territories.  

Sue Barsamian, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Group Sales, Enterprise Group, HP and a member of the NACME Board of Directors explained, “HP creates technology that positively impacts consumers, governments, and businesses worldwide, and our success relies on a robust workforce of talented engineers. One way we’ve taken action is to invest vice presidents and directors to sit on the advisory boards of  Academies of Engineering throughout the United States.”   
Academies of Engineering (AOEs)are small learning communities (schools-within-schools) designed to help all high school students – especially women and minorities – focus on careers in the STEM fields. The AOEs, are part of the National Academy Foundation’s network of over 500 career academies nationwide. They use curriculum from Project Lead the Way, prepare students in urban high school districts to enter college engineering programs fully competent in STEM subjects in order to ultimately help meet the increasing demand for a qualified high-tech workforce. NACME partners with academies across the U.S. in cities such as New York, Elizabeth, N.J., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, and Houston. NACME, the National Academy Foundation (NAF), and Project Lead The Way (PLTW) are founding partners in establishing 110 academies of engineering across the nation.

Moderated by Jessica Aguirre, Anchor, NBC Bay Area News, the Forum panel members were:

•    James Plummer, Ph.D., Dean, School of Engineering, Stanford; 
•    Theresa A. Maldonado, Ph.D., Division Director, Division of Engineering Education and Centers, Directorate for Engineering, 
      National Science Foundation;  
•    Bernadine Chuck Fong, Ph.D., Senior Managing Partner, Community College Programs and National Expansion, Carnegie
     Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching; 
•    Ramon Baez, VP and Global Chief Information Officer, HP; 
•    Carl Guardino, President and CEO, Silicon Valley Leadership Group; and, 
•    Irving Pressley McPhail, Ed.D., President & Chief Executive Officer, NACME.

The STEM Leadership Forum will be followed by an ongoing national discussion at the NACME Symposium in Washington, D.C. later this year. The ultimate goal for NACME and its board member companies is to grow a strong and talented science and technology workforce that looks like America. 

About NACME
Since its inception in 1974, NACME has stayed true to its mission: to ensure American resilience in a flat world by leading and supporting the national effort to expand U.S. capability by increasing the number of successful African American, American Indian, and Latino women and men in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and careers. 

NACME alumni hold leadership positions in industry, medicine, law, education, and government. With funding from corporate, foundation, and individual donors, NACME has supported more than 24,000 students with more than $124 million in scholarships and other support, and currently has more than 1,300 scholars at 50 partner institutions across the country. The NACME STEM Integration Model Linkage Strategy is being implemented in New York, New Jersey, Texas, and California. The regional model facilitates a comprehensive pathway for underrepresented minorities to engineering careers beginning in middle school. For more information, visit us at www.nacme.org. 
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