P1-08: Implementing an Interdisciplinary NSF S-STEM Program at Small Liberal Arts Colleges

With Ivan Ramler (St. Lawrence University)


The National Science Foundation’s S-STEM program seeks to increase the success of low-income academically talented students in (non-health track) STEM fields. Unlike larger schools that are able to recruit and support for a single discipline, smaller liberal arts schools that focus on only a few fields can have difficulty recruiting students that are likely to succeed and thus may not seek to apply for these types of awards. In particular, involving and recruiting statistics faculty and students can be difficult in small schools where a major is not firmly established. An interdisciplinary team at St. Lawrence University has created the Liberal Art Science (LAS) Scholar program (funded by NSF Award Number 1458712) to recruit and retain two cohorts of historically underrepresented students in STEM fields. In addition to showing results pertaining to both the successes and difficulties of the first two years of the program, this poster will discuss in the role of the pair of statistics faculty members involved in the program. This discussion includes the development of courses designed for the scholars, integration of evidence based thinking in other courses, and providing statistical mentoring and support for students as they conduct research in other fields. The end goal of this poster is that interested statisticians can learn from our experiences to develop similar programs at their institutions.