Minority Serving Institutions

America's Underutilized Resource for Strengthening the STEM Workforce

Scroll Down or Click Here to Learn More

Twenty first century advances require the United States to expand and diversify its science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)-capable workforce.

The educational outcomes and STEM readiness of all students, but especially students of color, will have direct implications for America’s innovation, economic growth, and global prosperity. Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs) that are mission-driven and have proven successful in educating and training STEM students of color are uniquely poised to serve as a large national resource for STEM talent.

This space is designed to be a resource for stakeholders of STEM education and the workforce. It highlights seven of the most effective strategies to intentionally Intentionality, as defined by the committee, is a calculated and coordinated method of engagement used by institutions, agencies, organizations, and the private sector to effectively meet the needs of a designated population, in this case within a given higher education institution. support student success in STEM fields at MSIs:

Dynamic, Multilevel, Mission-Driven Leadership

MSIs are best served by forward-looking, mission-driven presidents and other senior leaders who have a well-articulated vision and a willingness to hold themselves accountable for committing the necessary capital educational resources and services to meet the particular needs of their student body.

Read more

Institutional Responsiveness to Meet Students Where They Are

MSIs have a particular need to design and implement policies and practices that intentionally support nontraditional students and students of color, especially those in STEM fields, who may require additional flexibility and holistic support that addresses their academic, financial, and social needs.

Read more

Supportive Campus Environments

While true at all institutions of higher education, organizational cultures play an especially significant role in promoting student success at MSIs. A welcoming and nurturing campus climate that supports a fundamental sense of community and an equity-oriented culture together contribute to academic attainment and professional commitment at MSIs.

Read more

Tailored Academic and Social Supports

Intentional policies and practices, and holistic, student-centered supports, such as Summer Bridge programs and supplemental instruction, help guide students through higher education and make an important difference in persistence and success.

Read more

Effective Mentorship and Sponsorship

Strong mentorship allows students to create meaningful, accessible relationships with faculty and other adults, whose advocacy and support are critical to their educational and professional success. Additionally, the quality of these relationships is enhanced when institutions provide intentional professional development on good practices for mentoring and advising,

Read more

Availability of Undergraduate Research Experiences

Entry into graduate and professional fields increasingly demands high-quality research experiences as an undergraduate. Increasing numbers of MSIs are pioneering creative ways to extend such opportunities to more students at their institutions through course-based research experiences and external partnerships with research-intensive colleges and universities, government agencies, and private companies.

Read more

Mutually Beneficial Public-Private Partnerships

MSIs that engage in partnerships have the potential to provide alternative funding mechanisms and educational and research opportunities for both students and faculty, while also encouraging collaboration. This includes partnerships between MSIs and business, industry, and state and federal governments, as well as with other MSIs and non-MSIs.

Read more


The recommendations of this report provide guideposts for local, regional, and national stakeholders. Click below to view recommendations in the areas of:

Additional Report and Social Media Resources


Share on Twitter

Social Media Image

MSI twitter image