Improving the diversity within the rapidly growing fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) has become a forefront issue facing collegiate departments today. It is well known that there are large gaps in the participation and performance of minorities, women, and low-income students within these fields and that special attention must be paid in order to close this gap. Since 2005, the Pre-Major in Astronomy Program (Pre-MAP) at the University of Washington (UW) Department of Astronomy has made a concentrated effort to recruit and retain underrepresented undergraduates in STEM, at which it has been very successful. Of course, recruiting these students can be a challenge, as is creating a curriculum and atmosphere that enables undergraduates to successfully participate in real astronomy research during their first or second year at a four-year college. Pre-MAP recruits a significant population of minorities and women into the program. The structure of the seminar is intended to not only provide necessary skills and experience, but also create a collaborative and supportive atmosphere among each cohort. I will discuss the recruitment practices of Pre-MAP as well as the structure of the seminar and how it addresses the goal of early participation and success in STEM research and course work.The intent of this talk is to share our methods so that more programs like Pre-MAP can be adopted successfully in other institutions.
Institution(s): 1. University of Washington
Contributing team(s): Pre-Major in Astronomy Program