Lake-Sumter Community College

Central Florida STEM Alliance

Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP)

LSAMP Program at Lake-Sumter State College is a part of the Central Florida STEM Alliance (CFSA). CFSA is a National Science Foundation (NSF) partnership under the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Program. The CFSA is an alliance among three two-year colleges (LSSC, Valencia College and Polk State) working together to broaden the participation of underrepresented minorities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education in Central Florida.  CFSA colleges collaborate to support students, increase their success, and provide students in the alliance with academic, skills development, and mentoring opportunities.

Because students from populations historically underrepresented in STEM disciplines are a growing segment of the nation and Central Florida’s population, there is both statewide and national urgency to remove the barriers to developing a diverse STEM workforce. CFSA will accomplish its goal while working to realize the following outcomes:

  • Increase in the number of underrepresented associate degree graduates at CFSA institutions who transfer into STEM majors at the baccalaureate level.
  • Increase in the number of underrepresented students who choose STEM at each CFSA institution.
  • Improved persistence and graduation rates of underrepresented STEM students at all CFSA institutions.
  • Attainment of a grade point average of 2.75 or higher for CFSA’s underrepresented students.
  • Consistent participation of faculty and students in CFSA activities.

Alliance Objectives

The CFSA has set forth the following objectives to guide alliance-wide activities in pursuit of its goal:

  • Community-based and student recruiting: Inform teachers, counselors, parents and students in Central Florida about LSAMP and increase their awareness about STEM careers. Engage current alliance students having interest and potential in STEM and increase their awareness about STEM majors and careers. Collaborate with community-based recruiting models within the alliance.
  • Bridge programs and transitions: Leverage and create initiatives that assist students in their transitions from high school to college and from community colleges to bachelor-granting institutions. Connect students with peer mentors.
  • Faculty engagement and inclusive pedagogy: Facilitate faculty collaboration and peer groups across the alliance to share inclusive pedagogy and mentoring practices that lead to greater student success.
  • Student research opportunities, mentoring, and training: Connect and support students with mentored research opportunities. Organize research training experiences for alliance students to earn a research certificate.
  • Mentor training: Provide training and resources for mentors who supervise undergraduate research projects.
  • Project management, communication, and institutional integration: Organize and manage IINSPIRE-LSAMP team members and activities to achieve project goals. Leverage institutional resources and partnerships, and use alliance and institutional data to implement effective programs based on institution-specific needs.
  • Assessment and evaluation: Track student participation and enrollment statistics. Assess alliance-wide and institutional outcomes and use evaluation results to inform and improve practices.

Central Florida LSAMP activities draw upon available research and resources, focusing on the transitions from high school and community college to ensure that each student has rigorous academic preparation, social support, research preparation, and financial support to complete a STEM degree and continue onto graduate school. Work is being done to better understand these transitions and to increase the number of students on multiple pathways toward a STEM degree. The CFSA student experience model is defined by key learning and training activities from entry through associate-degree completion at a CFSA institution. Students participate in pre-matriculation programs, campus seminars and workshops, tutoring, mentoring, and alliance meetings.  LSAMP personnel at each CFSA institution coordinates local programming. Central Florida LSAMP programming involves existing and new activities at each institution, as well as joint activities by the Alliance.  Key activities essential to the student experience are access to dedicated STEM academic advising, professional development, and career advising. LSAMP personnel strive to connect key student activities to existing programs at Alliance institutions in order to leverage resources and expertise.  

Central Florida LSAMP reaches out to and works with a number of partners. Partners have a commitment to broadening participation in STEM and meeting state and national STEM workforce needs. Partners offer various types of opportunities and support to the program, including interfacing with local and regional activities, supporting K-12 outreach, and providing internships and other financial support.