Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

WASHINGTON UPDATE: Panel Pushes Support for Women, Minorities in Technology

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

WASHINGTON UPDATE: Panel Pushes Support for Women, Minorities in Technology

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON UPDATE: Panel Pushes Support for Women, Minorities in Technology

WASHINGTON -- The federal government must "significantly expand" initiatives to recruit minorities and women for science and technology careers through larger Pell grants, increased support for Black colleges and other services, a bipartisan congressional panel says.

"The problem has been studied enough. Now we need action," says Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Texas, at the release of findings from the Commission on the Advancement of Women and Minorities in Science, Engineering and Technology Development. "It is up to us to develop plans so that students from all backgrounds are prepared for careers in engineering, science and technology," adds Johnson, a Congressional Black Caucus member.

The panel specifically cited historically Black colleges and universities, Hispanic-serving institutions and tribal colleges as deserving of greater financial investments to recruit more students of color in these occupations. Financial help to these colleges should include institutional awards, research assistantships, traineeships and "expansion of proven programs," the study says.

Both state governments and the federal government should provide these additional resources, the panel says.

As for student aid, commission members proposed large increases in Pell grants for under-represented students who choose to study science, engineering or technology. The panel would nearly double the maximum grant for needy students -- from $3,300 to $6,418 -- for those who make a commitment to science and technology. …

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