Date: November 29th, 2016 (Event)

With higher education's increasing focus and commitment to advancing diversity, college campuses have become hosts to an enormous array of programmatic and support initiatives for students. Despite the huge diversity of programs, many support programs are limited in the scope of services they provide, requiring students to connect with various programs and navigate complex bureaucracy to secure holistic support. Which has leadĀ Dr. Kenneth MatonĀ from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County to ask:

"Have you ever tried baking a cake with only one or two ingredients?"

Dr. Maton has lead the assessment efforts of the Meyerhoff Project for over two decades, a program initiated at UMBC that sought to provide holistic support - ranging from financial support to summer bridge to proactive advising - for underrepresented students interested in pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics. As part of our Growing STEM initiative, the NCID partnered with units at Michigan to bring Dr. Maton to campus to discuss the latest iterations, where the Meyerhoff model has been adapted at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Pennsylvania State University.

As Dr. Phillip Bowman - founding director of the NCID and a continued collaborator with the Meyerhoff program - said in his introduction of Dr. Maton, the Meyerhoff model "reverses deficit-based orientation and promotes strengths" of underrepresented students while Dr. Maton's critical assessment efforts have helped to "design and document the efficacy of a multi-faceted, comprehensive program of support." The Meyerhoff model is one of the few programs that brings together student support across almost all areas of student life, and its expansion into other universities shows that more institutions are interested in providing comprehensive support to their students.

And there's certainly no wonder why: despite a huge variety of additional support mechanisms for students at UMBC, African-American students in the Meyerhoff program are 4.8 times more likely to complete a STEM program than their peers who are also interested in STEM. This has contributed to UMBC being the only non-HBCU in the top 10 universities producing black doctoral recipients from 2005-2014. The Meyerhoff program is helping to show that one or two ingredients might not be enough to make a graduate and that comprehensive support is key to more diverse, equitable, and inclusive college campuses.