The NACME’s Scholars (Block Grant) Program provides scholarship support in the form of a lump sum grant to partner institutions who enroll students from three sources – first year students identified by NACME or the partner universities, transfer students from two-year colleges, and currently enrolled students who have completed at least one year of engineering study.
Academic institutions that wish to participate in the scholars grant program must demonstrate a commitment to minority student success that is evidenced in their recruitment, admission, retention, education, and graduation (RAREG) of African American, Latino, and American Indian engineering students.
Academic performance criteria for NACME support differs somewhat for each student stream.
- High school seniors must be accepted by the university’s college of engineering (at the end of the freshman year, NACME assumes a minimum GPA of 2.5 on a scale of 4.0).
- Currently enrolled students must have completed a calculus, physics, or chemistry course, earning at least a “B,” and be accepted into engineering.
- Two-year community college transfers, i.e., those accepted for their third year of engineering study, must enter with at least a 2.7 cumulative GPA on a scale of a 4.0 and an Associate Degree in engineering science (or the equivalent program of study).
NACME distributes grant payments in two installments each academic year. Under the scholars program, each entering freshman scholar is eligible for $12,500 for up to five years. Two-year transfers and currently enrolled sophomores and beyond are eligible for the identical annual support for up to three years. Scholarship amounts may vary based on the scholar’s financial need to cover the cost of education.
The academic institution provides NACME with a report at the end of the grant period that includes graduation and retention rates as well as biographical information, GPA, and dollar amount of support for each NACME Scholar.
Expectations for Continuance
Partnership agreements are reviewed at the end of five years. Grants are renewed annually to compare institutional performance against established enrollment and graduation goals. NACME expects evidence of continuous improvement toward parity. Such indicators of success would include in the aggregate rising GPAs, reduction in retention rate between NACME Scholars and comparison group (e.g., other minority engineering students or non-minority engineering students), and stable or decreasing time to degree.