Since 2000, Missouri S&T’s minority science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) enrollment has increased by 124 percent and female enrollment has increased by 53 percent. A new program established by Ameren aims to raise those figures even higher.
The Ameren Diversity in Engineering Scholarship Program will draw female and underrepresented minority students with financial need into engineering and computer science fields.
“A partner with Missouri S&T for many years, Ameren understands the importance of developing a diverse workforce by creating opportunities for a range of young people interested in pursuing engineering and computer science careers, particularly those who have historically been underrepresented in these fields,” says Thomas R. Voss, EE’69, president and CEO of Ameren. “Missouri S&T is the perfect partner to help us create a more diversified engineering workforce.”
The Ameren gift will also create a professional development program that will match scholarship recipients with corporate mentors who will provide guidance to the students in their academic careers. The program shows the importance of building diversity in engineering and computer science fields.
A recent study by the American Society for Engineering Education and The Chronicle of Higher Education found that minority college students represent the only student growth market in the next 20 years, but of all U.S. engineering students, fewer than 6 percent are African-American, 8.1 percent are Hispanic and about 2 percent are Native Americans or Hawaiian Pacific Islanders.
The study also found that while 57 percent of all U.S. college students are female, fewer than 18 percent of engineering students are female. S&T’s average is slightly higher at 22.4 percent.