The Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program is an alliance-based program.

The program’s theory is based on the Tinto model for student retention referenced in the 2005 LSAMP program evaluation. The overall goal of the program is to assist universities and colleges in diversifying the nation’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce by increasing the number of STEM baccalaureate and graduate degrees awarded to populations historically underrepresented in these disciplines: African Americans, Hispanic Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and Native Pacific Islanders. LSAMP’s efforts to increase diversity in STEM are aligned with the goals of the Federal Government’s five-year strategic plan for STEM education, Charting a Course for Success: America’s Strategy for STEM Education.

The LSAMP program takes a comprehensive approach to student development and retention. Particular emphasis is placed on transforming undergraduate STEM education through innovative, evidence-based recruitment and retention strategies, and relevant educational experiences in support of racial and ethnic groups historically underrepresented in STEM disciplines.

The LSAMP program also supports knowledge generation, knowledge utilization, assessment of program impacts and dissemination activities. The program seeks new learning and immediate diffusion of scholarly research into the field. Under this program, funding for STEM education and broadening participation research activities could include research to develop new models in STEM engagement, recruitment and retention practices for all critical pathways to STEM careers or research on interventions such as mentoring, successful learning practices and environments, STEM efficacy studies, and use of technology to improve learning or student engagement.

Overall, the LSAMP program provides funding to alliances that implement comprehensive, evidence-based, innovative, and sustained strategies that ultimately result in the graduation of well-prepared, highly-qualified students from underrepresented minority groups who pursue graduate studies or careers in STEM.

Project types under this program include:


Alliances are consortia of multiple degree-granting institutions. Organizations from other sectors, including informal science organizations, may be participants. Projects focus on pre-college and undergraduate recruitment and retention activities. Types of LSAMP alliances are described as follows:


a. STEM Pathways Implementation-Only Alliance projects are mainly focused on a particular STEM pathway or transition, e.g., entry into college, first two years, or preparation for entry into graduate studies. Additionally, the project may focus on activities dedicated to diversifying a particular STEM discipline. These projects are targeted to newly-created alliances, reconstituted alliances or alliances that have received support by the program for 10 years or less. Initial institutionalization and sustainability planning for the alliance should be addressed in the project description. Projects are five years in duration.

b. STEM Pathways and Research Alliances are projects that focus on the full STEM pathway and provide direct support for undergraduate students but also serve as a hub for the production of scholarly STEM research and evaluation to increase the knowledge-base and utilization in broadening participation. Projects are required to address the current state of its institutionalization and sustainability efforts and address these areas in evaluation planning. All required components must be addressed to be competitive for this project type. These are five-year projects.

c. Bridge to the Baccalaureate (B2B) Alliances involve associate degree producing institutions for which the lead institution must be a community college. These projects focus on activities that provide effective educational preparation of community college students from underrepresented minority populations for successful transfer to four-year institutions in STEM degree programs. Initial institutionalization and sustainability planning for the alliance should be addressed in the project description. These are three-year projects.

Bridge to the Doctorate (BD) Activity

BD projects are projects that focus on providing post-baccalaureate fellowship support to a cohort of 12 LSAMP students for the first two years of their STEM graduate studies and provides the necessary academic and research skills that will enable them to successfully earn STEM doctoral degrees and transition into the STEM workforce. Only institutions in well-established alliances funded 10 or more consecutive years are eligible for this funding opportunity. These are two-year projects.

About Congressman Louis Stokes

The Honorable Louis Stokes
(February 23, 1925 – August 18, 2015)

The late U.S. Congressman Louis Stokes was a giant in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 60s. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, and raised by his widowed mother and grandmother in the local housing projects, he joined the U.S. Army at age 18 to serve his country, but found a level of segregation in the South that fueled his passion for racial justice.

After serving his country, Stokes came back to obtain his undergraduate degree from Western Reserve University (now Case Western Reserve), and his Juris Doctor from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. One of his signature cases as an attorney was the “stop and frisk” case Terry v. Ohio, where he defended the rights of an African American man stopped by Cleveland police officers and appealed the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Stokes served in the U.S. Congress for 30 years, from 1968-1998, and was a Founding Member of the Congressional Black Congress. He served on the House Select Committee on the Assassinations of President John F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King, and on the House Select Committee to Investigate Covert Arms Transactions with Iran in 1987.

By 1998, Congressman Stokes was considered the “Dean” of the Ohio congressional delegation. The federal legislation that launched the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation was named after Stokes for his demonstrated commitment to education. He was honored by the Congress with the Congressional Distinguished Service Award in 2003, and with honorary doctorate degrees and numerous named buildings in his honor including the Louis Stokes Laboratories at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland and the Louis Stokes Health Sciences Library at Howard University in Washington, DC.

“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”

Alvin Toffler, Author & Thought Leader