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City Colleges of Chicago (CCC) and the University of Chicago are joining forces at an institutional level to strengthen STEM education and career opportunities and create a more diverse field of professionals entering the sciences.
A memorandum of understanding executed by the two institutions aims to ensure that innovation in the rapidly changing fields of science and technology benefits from a wide range of perspectives and experiences.
A CCC degree program in data science is among the first initiatives being developed from the collaboration. Established as a strategic CCC growth priority based on input from industry leaders, the program will reflect the knowledge and expertise of both UChicago and City Colleges faculty.
While the number of STEM degrees awarded nationally has grown in recent years, diversity among degree earners has lagged. According to a Pew Research Center analysis, in 2018, Latinx students earned 12% of the bachelor’s degrees awarded in the United States in STEM fields, and Black students earned just 7%. The same analysis found that in graduate programs in these fields, Black students were still underrepresented. At U.S. academic institutions in 2019, Black students made up just 6.8% of all enrollees in master’s degree programs, 3.7% of all doctoral programs, and just 1.6% of postdoctoral researchers in science, engineering and health fields.
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