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Reps. Fudge, Turner Introduce Legislation to Support Minority Students in STEM Fields

WASHINGTON –Today,Rep. Marcia L. Fudge (OH-11) and Rep. Mike Turner (OH-10) introduced the Supporting Minority STEM Student to Career Act to improve the delivery of targeted resources to underrepresented students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields.  The bill updates the Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program by allowing institutions to provide scholarships to students from underrepresented populations pursuing STEM degrees.  The bill also invests in institutions’ ability to provide minority students studying STEM with comprehensive wrap-around services, such as peer mentoring, community building activities, tutoring and study groups, supplemental instruction, internships, research experiences, and career and financial counseling.

“Minority representation continues to lag in STEM, which accounts for some of the highest paying and fastest growing jobs in today’s economy,” said Rep. Fudge.  “We have a responsibility to prepare all students for the ever-changing world of work by improving higher education opportunities, promoting educational equity, and increasing minority and underserved student access to high-quality STEM education programs.  The future is STEM, and I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation to ensure minority students can obtain the resources, services, and skills needed to enter the STEM field.”

“I am proud to be the lead Republican on this bill to make pursuing an education and career in the STEM field more accessible and affordable for minority students, including those at Central State University and Wilberforce University in my district,” said Rep. Turner.

“We are proud to support this bill, which would expand the STEM workforce by promoting the success of underrepresented minorities, women, and other high-need populations in STEM career pathways,” said James Brown, Executive Director of the STEM Education Coalition.  “In the hyper-competitive global economy, our nation must provide every student with an interest in the critical STEM fields – from every background – with a chance to succeed by providing them with the targeted supports they need.   Reams of evidence have demonstrated that aligned work study, undergraduate research opportunities, mentorship and other forms of targeted academic assistance help high-need students stay in school, complete their degrees, and succeed in STEM careers.  This bill would empower the existing Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program to deliver these kinds of supports to the students that will most benefit from them.  Our collective prosperity depends on their success.” 

Click here for the full bill text.