Broadening Participation

In parallel with the integrated research, education, workforce development, and industrial outreach efforts, this project will broaden participation in STEM via improved exposure, increased retention, and support for professional development of targeted student populations, including URMs, women, technical college students, and non-traditional students including veterans.

The URM population within SC is primarily Black or African American (AA) alone (24.8%, 7th highest in the US) and Hispanic or Latino (6.9%). Disparities persist within BS degree attainment overall (16.7% AA, 3.9% LtX, 70.6% Wht) and engineering and computer science degrees (5.5% AA, 4.1% LtX, and 79% Wht). For graduate degrees, the disparity is worse. Domestic students overall are underrepresented in engineering and computer science (CS) MS and PhD programs. SC has excelled (T-1st) at providing access to CS instruction in public schools, with over 98% of HS students attending a school that offers foundational CS coursework. This effort is reflected in the relatively high percentage of AA students earning a BS degree in CS or a related field (16.1%). This is an opportunity to improve the number of URM graduate students pursuing CS. Within engineering, numbers have been stagnant over the past 10 years, indicating the need for a new approach. Previous work[216-219] asserted that motivation to pursue higher education paths increases via exposure to new knowledge in the subject area of interest. Our broadening participation efforts will leverage success of CS K–12 education in SC to foster new exposure opportunities for URM students in AI and biomedical devices. Additionally, we will increase participation of non-traditional students such as veterans, who traditionally participate at the BS level but rarely pursue research opportunities.

The goals for Broadening Participation are:

  • Improve exposure, increase retention, and support the professional development of target groups: URM students, Women in computer science and engineering, Technical college and other non-traditional students including military veterans
  • Engage SC AI and Biomedical Device industry stakeholders in ADAPT in SC

Thrust Co-leaders:

Jordon Gilmore (Clemson)

Contributing Faculty:

Nadim Aziz (SC EPSCoR)

Angela Alexander-Bryant (Clemson)

Bruce Gao (Clemson)

Tanju Karanfil (Clemson)

Chris Korey (College of Charleston)

Feng Lou (Clemson)

Andrew Williams (Citadel)

Qi Wang (Uof SC)