Native American Summer Mentorship Program (NASMP)
In 2014, a student in Blanding reached out to main campus in Logan to find a way to gain lab experience he was unable to get on his own campus. The student was able to travel to Logan and work in a lab for a few weeks that summer. Following that student’s successful lab experience, the Native American Summer Mentorship Program (NASMP) was created ‘to improve the retention and representation of Native American students in 4-year degrees, with a focus on STEM fields and research in academia.’ Since that first summer in 2014, the program has only grown.
The first official summer of the NASMP there were four students who traveled to Logan to spend time in various labs on campus. Following that first summer, the program has grown to an average of 25-30 students each year. As of last summer, all colleges and 70 labs at the Logan campus participated in the NASMP and invited students to experience their programs.
Students in the NASMP spend four weeks in Logan. During their time on campus, the students receive an orientation to Logan and the USU main campus because it is so different from their Blanding campus experience. They research in various labs, build new skills, and have a final poster presentation on what they learned during their time in Logan. Following their summer in the NASMP, over 60% of students who participate in the program transfer to a four-year program. Of the 60% who transfer to a four-year program, 40% transfer to the main USU campus in Logan.
While these outcomes are great, in speaking to students who have transferred to the Logan campus, they explained that broader changes needed to be made at the campus level to help them be successful in Logan. It was determined that more needed to be done to help the students thrive upon their transfer, so the MESAS program was created to remove the barriers to student success in Logan.
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