STEM Central

A Community of Practice for NSF STEM Projects

Harris Stowe State University leads the way in broadening participation in STEM

Harris Stowe State University leads the way in broadening participation in STEM

Hello HBCU-UP STEM Central Community!

Once a month, I will highlight the accomplishments and transformative impact of HBCU-UP projects in this space – STEM Central. This is a space designed for you, HBCU-UP principal investigators, supporters, and friends.

This month’s featured institution is Harris Stowe State University (HSSU), a historically black, public university located in midtown St. Louis, Missouri. HSSU has a total enrollment of approximately 1,200 students, ninety percent of which are African-American. This institution has made enormous strides in producing African American science, technology engineering and mathematics (STEM) majors. Prior to 2008, Harris Stowe State University did not offer traditional STEM degrees, but offered teacher education degrees in mathematics and science. With the support of a $2.5 million implementation project by the National Science Foundation’s HBCU-UP program in 2008, the university established B.S. degree programs in mathematics and biology and received approval by the Missouri Department of Higher Education to offer these degrees beginning in the fall of 2010.  By 2015, enrollment in these two STEM degree programs, coupled with the enrollment in the teacher education programs, was 196 students - a phenomenal accomplishment in such a short time.

As of 2016, HSSU is ranked 47th in the nation and number one in the state of Missouri in graduating African-American undergraduate mathematics majors. HSSU biology and mathematics graduates are enrolling in graduate schools in unprecedented numbers. With the support of the HBCU-UP grant, various STEM initiatives such as the undergraduate research program, student presentations at national conferences, STEM faculty and student mentoring sessions, faculty development, and the Science and Mathematics Academy program have transformed the campus.  Urban Ecology was added as an area of concentration in 2014, with the goal that it will become a four-year degree program in the near future.

Harris Stowe State University was recently awarded an HBCU-UP Targeted Infusion Project to implement a research-based biotechnology curriculum and to create on-campus research experiences for freshmen in the area of biotechnology.

In October 2017, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon announced Harris Stowe State University as the lead institution of an alliance of eight Missouri colleges and universities that have jointly received a $5 million grant from the National Science Foundation’s Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program. Called MoLSAMP, the statewide consortium includes the University of Missouri-Columbia, the University of Missouri-St. Louis, Washington University in St. Louis, the University of Central Missouri, Truman State University and the Center for Plant and Life Sciences at St. Louis Community College.

The HBCU-UP program congratulates Harris Stowe State University, its students, faculty, staff, administrators, and leaders on its success in educating African American students in science and mathematics.

Wishing for you a wonderful and productive spring semester - Claudia