Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions about Central Florida STEM Alliance LSAMP (Central Florida LSAMP) Program
Who qualifies for the Central Florida LSAMP program?
Although it is open to all students who want to participate, the CFSA, one of the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) partnerships, is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to increase the number of underrepresented minority students who pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. NSF defines these underrepresented minority groups as African-American, Alaskan Native, American Indian/Native American, Hawaiian Native, Hispanic/Latino, and Native Pacific Islander.
How does a student become a Central Florida LSAMP student?
A student must be attending one of the CFSA institutions, with plans to complete an associate’s degree and to enroll in and complete a bachelor’s degree program in a STEM field. An interested student completes the program enrollment form and participates in a minimum number of program activities each semester to maintain status as an active LSAMP student.
Why should a student consider joining Central Florida LSAMP?
Majoring in a STEM discipline is quite demanding. LSAMP offers enrolled students a community of peers, faculty, and staff committed to supporting students’ excellence in academics, personal and leadership development, and career preparation. Available LSAMP services offer students help with coursework, provide social support, promote familiarity with STEM professions and workplace expectations, and assist in identifying scholarship, internship, and research opportunities.
What are the benefits of being a Central Florida LSAMP student?
The Alliance institutions provide support during the associate’s degree years to facilitate students’ successful completion of a STEM bachelor’s degree program. LSAMP students receive support through a range of program services, including dedicated STEM advising, opportunities to develop professionally in STEM fields through internships, undergraduate research, and STEM conference participation, and cohort engagement. For a limited number of qualifying students, LSAMP Student Awards are available.
- Dedicated STEM advising
- Supplemental learning with peer leaders
- Annual STEM conference
- Skill-building workshops
- Colloquia with STEM professionals
- STEM engagement/success course
Why is doing research such an important part of this program?
It has been shown that students who do research as undergraduates do better academically than those who don't and are more likely to go on to graduate school and be successful there. Undergraduate research supports students in three critical areas: academic integration to support knowledge, skill development, and capacity building to persist in and attain a college degree; social integration to find a community of support and belonging and to foster identity development as competent, capable contributors; and professionalization to build familiarity with a STEM career field, to establish connections with STEM professionals, and to explore potential career pathways.
Do you award scholarships to LSAMP students?
No, CFSA institutions do not award scholarships to LSAMP students. However, for qualifying LSAMP students, financial support may be available through an LSAMP Student Award. Each student receiving this award must participate in a program of structured activities designed to support their recruitment, retention, and graduation with a STEM degree. Each participating CFSA institution decides the program of structured activities under which its students will receive the LSAMP Student Award, as well as the dollar amount of the award.
Are you able to help students to get scholarships?
CFSA institutions share information with students about available scholarships and suggest resources the students may use to support their scholarship applications.
Are you able to help students to get summer internships?
CFSA institutions support students in pursuing internships. The institutions publicize opportunities. When appropriate, program personnel will help students to complete applications and will provide references.
Why does this program want students to complete a bachelor’s degree in a science,
technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) field?
LSAMP functions under a congressional mandate to diversify the STEM workforce so that the innovation and economy of this country are robust and leading. The nation’s innovation and competitiveness will be optimized when informed by different perspectives, enriched by broader creative contributions, and supported through the collaborative efforts of richer, more inclusive pools of workers. A bachelor’s degree is the entry point those who want to pursue many of the STEM careers. In addition, there are wonderful opportunities in STEM professions that will open up to individuals with graduate degrees. A bachelor’s degree is a first step for those who want to pursue graduate degrees in STEM fields.
What are the advantages of careers in STEM?
STEM professions represent some exciting work opportunities in academia and in business and industry. Many of these professions offer good salaries, opportunities for advancement, and avenues to drive innovation and address quality of life concerns. For a large number of individuals, these professions are well not known to students or to their families especially if you are the first person in your family to go to college.