Dartmouth Launches $100M STEM Program for Students From Underrepresented Groups

Dubbed STEM-X, Dartmouth's new program seeks to increase diversity in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields.
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  • The program will create an executive director for undergraduate STEM diversity.
  • Donations make up 60% of the endowment for STEM-X.
  • The program establishes a scholarship and creates a cohort of students sponsored from alums' gift.

Dartmouth College this month announced a $100 million program to increase access and opportunities for underrepresented students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

Dubbed STEM-X by Dartmouth, the new program will include a scholarship program for students from historically underrepresented groups. Plans also include expanding support for mentored undergraduate research and enhancing career and graduate school advising. The program will also fully cover fifth-year bachelor of engineering candidates.

"We are acting on two contrary truths — American innovation benefits greatly when diverse perspectives are applied to a problem, and yet the pipeline of advanced-degree recipients in STEM from underrepresented groups falls far short of representation levels in our society," Dartmouth President Philip J. Hanlon said in a statement.

The announcement came alongside a $25 million gift from 1982 alums Penny and James Coulter for STEM-X. The gift, along with other donations, make up 60% of the STEM-X fund. Dartmouth is tasked with raising the rest — $40 million — for a total program endowment.

The Coulters' gift will also create the Coulter Scholars Program, a four-year cohort of 16 students in STEM fields. The students will receive academic, personal, professional, and financial support as part of the program.

The gift will also establish a new executive director for undergraduate STEM diversity. The director will unify six undergraduate programs across the college to design, direct, and assess efforts to advance STEM opportunities and alumni-student networking.

"Few institutions are tackling this national challenge at the core of their teaching and learning mission, and fewer still are looking at it systematically, across the comprehensive university," said Alexis Abramson, dean of the Dartmouth Thayer School of Engineering.

"High school students who are serious about STEM should know universities like Dartmouth are deeply committed to creating pathways that will ensure their success."