Politics

University of Massachusetts to announce program to double the number of minority students pursuing science, engineering, and math degrees

WASHINGTON -- UMass President Robert Caret will announce Monday afternoon at a Capitol Hill forum a new program to double the number of underrepresented minority students graduating with science, technology, engineering and math degrees from the University of Massachusetts and the state’s 15 community colleges over the next four years.

The Business-Higher Education Forum today will showcase UMass’ initiative along with new programs being launched in about a dozen states to increase the number of students studying in such fields.

UMass will begin its program this fall by establishing paths for community college graduates with associate degrees in science, technology, engineering and math to enter the same majors at UMass campuses. The university, which has four undergraduate campuses, will also allow students who have previously earned community college credits to finish their associate’s degree while attending UMass and working towards their bachelor’s degree.

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Funding for the program will be provided by the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership and its business partners, including Suffolk Construction and Raytheon. The companies will provide support to help students transition from community colleges to UMass, and will also host summer internships in green science and engineering, life sciences laboratory and field placements, and sustainable solutions.

Tracy Jan can be reached at tjan@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @GlobeTracyJan.