We have the opportunity to broaden participation, become models of diversity, and enhance competitiveness in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) from K-12 to leadership levels and across all disciplines. The challenge is to figure out how, not just to accept, explain or justify the status quo.
The SD EPSCoR Diversity Consortium is a statewide effort to broaden participation within the South Dakota STEM workforce and to strengthen educational pathways for diverse audiences. The Consortium will formulate, recommend, and implement activities, policies, and processes to recruit and support citizens of all races, ethnicity, nationality, gender, age, economic status, and sexual orientation across the STEM disciplines throughout the state.
The SD EPSCoR Diversity Consortium is comprised of two entities, the Diversity Council and the Consultatory Board. The Consortium members will meet formally twice a year.
SD EPSCoR Diversity Council – The Council is comprised of individuals currently serving diversity efforts at South Dakota universities, tribal and private colleges, and technical schools.
- The focus of the SD EPSCoR Diversity Council will be to:
- Identify common goals and objectives to increase student interest in STEM
- Identify common challenges that inhibit successful completion of STEM programs
- Identify common challenges in involving faculty in diversity activities
- Identify common challenges that prohibit inclusion of diversity components into the curriculum
- Identify common challenges in cultivating mentoring programs
- Identify financial resources that can be shared across the Council
- Host an annual STEM event for area high school students that includes pre-college preparation instructions and tours of STEM departments and labs
SD EPSCoR Diversity Consultatory Board – The Board is made up of select individuals from professional STEM organizations (societies, professional chapters, etc.) and industry.
- The focus of the SD EPSCoR Consultatory Board will be to:
- Identify resources and potential partnerships that assist in meeting the goals and objectives of the Diversity Consortium
- Propose outcomes that address the challenges identified by the Council
- Promote STEM outreach at both K-12 schools and institutions of higher education
- Increase financial support to further STEM diversity efforts across the state
- Develop a methodology for building internships and successful transitioning of students into the workforce upon graduation