Partnered with three other institutions of higher education, the University of Texas of the Permian Basin has received a $100,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to host the first ever PROMISE Conference at Laredo Community College in March.
PROMISE stands for Providing Resources and Opportunities for Minorities in STEM Education. The NSF award is designed to enhance undergraduate education in science technology, engineering and mathematics at Hispanic-serving institutions.
Co-led by Selina Mireles, dean of the College Education at UTPB, the conference’s goal is to gather educational leaders from across the country to discuss National Science Foundation initiatives that target Hispanics.
In a news release, Mireles said colleges and universities that are designated as Hispanic Serving Institutions must be responsive to the needs of Hispanic students. The objective is to identify the most critical challenges and opportunities regarding undergraduate STEM studies for Hispanic students and create effective programs and strategies to recruit, retain, and graduate Hispanics in STEM, the release said.
UTPB’s student body is 44 percent Hispanic, the release said.
Along with UTPB and Laredo Community College, other founding institutions include Texas A&M International University and Texas A&M University-Kingsville.
These four institutions responded to the call by organizing the conference to bring together key stakeholders in undergraduate STEM education. The conference will convene faculty and administrators from more than 83 public and private colleges, universities, community-based organizations and business entities in addition to at least 100 virtual participants.