What is PUMA-STEM?

PUMA-STEM stands for Promotion of Underrepresented Minorities in Academic Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.

Our consortium is funded by the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) and National Science Foundation (NSF) and is focused on increasing the participation and success of African-American, Hispanic, Pacific Islander, and indigenous American students in STEM academic fields and careers.

Our network involves multiple schools in the Associated Colleges of the Chicago Area and coordination with local high school systems, as well as businesses specializing in STEM.


The Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program assists universities and colleges in diversifying the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce through their efforts at significantly increasing the numbers of students from historically underrepresented minority populations to successfully complete high quality degree programs in STEM.

Concordia University will engage in a 18-month planning process aimed at creating an alliance of institutions, including K-12 schools, in Illinois to achieve the goals of the LSAMP program. The planning process includes development of an infrastructure based on best practices and research in a coordinated, effective and efficient process to reduce barriers for underrepresented minorities in STEM-related fields.

The expected outcome of the planning process will be strong established and coordinated partnerships from high school to university to employment in STEM. The model, with its multi-tiered approach including implementation of best practice pedagogy, social and/or financial supports, will result in increased enrollment and graduation from STEM majors as well as a diversification of the STEM workforce. The partnership structure also provides for future expansion of the high school-college-industry network to improve outreach and strengthen the overall academic foundation for underrepresented minorities in STEM programs.

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This material is based in part upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number 1612767. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.