CO-AMP is an innovative consortium of fourteen community colleges and four year institutions and four Native American tribes in Colorado and the Four Corners rfegion. The Allisances' mission is to double the number of historically and currently under-represented Native American, African American, Hispanic, Pacific Islander and Alaska Native students earning bachelor's degrees in Science, Technology, Engeieering, and mathematics (STEM). CO-AMP fills a critical gap by delivering programs to underrepresented students in SETEM fields and has become an academic leader in Colorado for coordinated efforts in minority STEM education programing.
Since its inception in 1996, CO-AMP has been increasing the quality of education for underrepresented minorities (URM) in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields and has built an infrastructure for collaborative programs and activities. During the last fifteen years, the CO-AMP has significantly impacted participants to make profound and successful changes in their academic careers and their lives. Over the years, CO-AMP has also integrated minority students into college life, initiated early STEM advising and mentoring, enhanced state of the art interventions to increase the number of underrepresented STEM students, and increased communication of effective programming across our partner institutions.
CO-AMP also partners with four tribes (Jicarilla Apache, Navajo, Southern Ute, and Ute Mountain Ute), along with partners from numerous corporations, governmental agencies, professional membership organizations, and community members. These partnerships and collaborations continue to provide insight into the ever-changing direction of technology and offer career opportunities and internships to underrepresented minority students.
UCCS has been partnered with CO-AMP since 2006. The college has been a sponsor of the Summer Bridge program, intended to provide a smooth transition from high school to the college environment at UCCS.
In the 2011-1012 school year, in order to promote a STEM college education at UCCS, the College of Engineering and Applied Science worked with Project Lead the Way (PLTW) to offer 20 minority high school students the opportunity to take college credit courses in STEM majors. Project Lead the Way allowed students to take college courses in STEM fields at a heavily discounted rate (a 3-credit course is $306). PLTW courses show up on UCCS transcripts under the semester it was taken and there is no difference on the transcript between a PLTW course and a traditional college course.
In partnering with Project Lead the Way, we focused on juniors/seniors who have already made a commitment to higher level math and science courses - such as Calculus I or Calculus II. These students had already shown an aptitude and interest in STEM. Additionally, we also focused on minority students who expressed interest but were unable to pay the $306 to take the course. The benefits of this partnership between UCCS College of Engineering and PLTW were numerous. The students who took these courses will start their college careers with a STEM class already on their transcript - giving them buy-in to continue down a STEM degree path. We will be able to track these students to degree completion because PLTW keeps detailed records of all their participants.