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Solutions for STEM Diversity: Lessons from HBCUs and other Leaders in Diversifying the Pipeline

Monday, February 29, 2016
9:00 AM ET – 12:00 PM ET
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
2101 Constitution Ave. NW
Washington, DC


On February 29, 2016, the U.S. Department of Education, in partnership with the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and the Board on Higher Education and Workforce of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine hosted a live webcast Solutions for STEM Diversity: Lessons from HBCUs and other Leaders in Diversifying the Pipeline. During this interactive conversation, leaders from HBCUs, and the private, nonprofit, and academic sectors shared successful tactics in diversifying the STEM pipeline. Federal agencies also shared past and planned investments into this work. 

African-American and Latino college enrollment is up by more than a million students since 2008. Despite our progress, students of color still have low degree completion rates and low representation in STEM fields, where needs for professionals and technical personnel are growing tremendously. In fact, African Americans received just 6 percent of all STEM bachelor’s degrees and 2 percent of PhDs in STEM, despite constituting 12 percent of the U.S. population. 

However, HBCUs have played an outsized role in attracting, retaining and graduating African American STEM professionals. Even though our nation's 105 HBCUs comprise just three percent of colleges and universities, they produce 27 percent of African Americans with bachelors' degrees in STEM fields. Inn 2011, HBCUs conferred one-fourth of the bachelor degrees in education awarded to African-Americans. HBCUs are in diverse communities, have different strengths, and are critical in educating more Americans.