The Arkansas Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (ARK-LSAMP) aims to increase the number of under-represented minority students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines. It has a stated goal of increasing the pool of baccalaureate, masters, and doctoral degree graduates in STEM disciplines in Arkansas’ workforce. The program serves African Americans, Hispanic Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and Native Pacific Islanders.
Since its inception, ARK-LSAMP has been actively engaged in assisting students in developing skills and learning strategies that will guarantee success in their fields of study. ARK-LSAMP scholars are able to gain a competitive edge through intrusive academic advising and mentoring, social support and networking opportunities, and financial incentives. Students are offered increased access to high quality faculty-mentored research experiences and professional development opportunities. ARK-LSAMP is designed to increase students’ exposure to research and professionals within their disciplines through STEM seminars, workshops and other enrichment activities. Students are encouraged to apply for internships and summer research experiences and are supported to give presentations at conferences. LSAMP scholars at UA Little Rock are immersed in a learning community by taking classes with other outstanding STEM students and have to the opportunity to live in reserved STEM housing. The annual financial support is $1,800 and is renewable for a second year.
Upon acceptance, ARK-LSAMP requires incoming freshmen to attend a Summer Institute before the fall semester. The Summer Institute is a six-week program held at the University of Arkansas, Pine Bluff that offers the necessary skills and knowledge to help incoming freshmen make a seamless transition into college. Students receive a $1,200 stipend plus free room and board for participating in the Summer Institute. During the institute, students will make friends with fellow LSAMP participants across the state of Arkansas, particularly those who will also be attending UA Little Rock in the fall. Students will learn crucial techniques and skills that will propel them ahead of other entering freshmen and help them succeed in all academic pursuits.
ARK-LSAMP is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and is a collaborative alliance of eight Arkansas institutions: Arkansas State University (A-State), Philander Smith College (PSC), Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas (PCCUA), Southeast Arkansas College (SEARK), University of Arkansas, Fayetteville (UAF), University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UA Little Rock), University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB, lead institution), and University of Arkansas Pulaski Technical College (UA-PTC). The NSF has placed particular importance on transforming undergraduate STEM education through innovative, evidence-based recruitment and retention strategies, and relevant educational experiences in support of racial and ethnic groups historically underrepresented in STEM disciplines.