P907: Louisiana State University’s Office of Strategic Initiatives: A catalyst for campus-wide diversity with chemistry origins
Louisiana State University (LSU) is well known for its preeminence in awarding the doctoral degree in chemistry to African Americans. In fact, during the last decade LSU produced 1 in 11 of the doctoral degrees received by African Americans in chemistry nationally. Fortunately, the impact of that achievement extends further than the chemistry department on campus. With leadership from LSU chemists and generous funding from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the Louisiana Board of Regents, the LSU Office of Strategic Initiatives (OSI) has developed a host of programs that serve to impact diversity across STEM disciplines and throughout the pipeline. Each program employs a comprehensive and holistic training model that significantly impacts persistence, particularly among students from underrepresented groups. In this talk, the impact of all OSI programs will be discussed and two programs will be highlighted: the LA-STEM Scholars Program and the NIH Bridges to the Baccalaureate (BB). LA-STEM utilizes a hierarchical mentoring model in which undergraduates are taught the fundamental principles of mentoring, metacognitive learning, and research through a customized four-year curriculum focused on these aspects of professional development. The NIH BB program is designed to increase the numbers of students who complete an Associate of Science degree, transfer into a four-year degree program at LSU, and complete the BS degree. As community colleges serve over 40% of all undergraduates and nearly 50% of all minority undergraduates in the US, this type of program holds great potential for diversifying the sciences.