Taking the Leap

With a $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation, California State University Long Beach is launching a new research program to train a new generation of highly skilled Hispanic scientists and engineers.

Intended to increase the representation of Hispanic students in STEM fields, the active learning-based educational program (LEAP) is a collaboration between the colleges of Business, Engineering, and Natural Sciences and Mathematics. While Hispanics make up 16 percent of the U.S. workforce, they account for only 6 percent of those working in science and engineering, according to the NSF.

Participating students will have a chance to conduct applied research, guided by a team of mentors from both academia and industry. Each student will receive a noticeable financial support by accomplishing the applied project. Each research team will have access to a business advisor and a compliance advisor as a supplemental tool to meet the established benchmarks of the research project.

leap flow chart

In addition, a business course will be developed and offered, preparing students to better understand the economic aspects and business-related challenges in their future careers.

Besides having an opportunity to mentor up-and-coming students, industry partners will have a chance to work in CSULB research facilities and help develop low-cost solutions to technological and economic challenges.