United Negro College Fund
UNCF is the nation’s largest minority education organization and since its founding in 1944, UNCF has raised more than $4.5 billion to help more than 400,000 students receive college degrees at UNCF-member institutions and with UNCF scholarships.
UNCF’s 38 member colleges produce 7,500 graduates each year. Of those, more than 20 percent graduate with STEM majors and an additional 26 percent have business majors.
Today, UNCF manages a portfolio of scholarship and other financial support programs, funded by the nation’s largest corporations and foundations, that produce 8,500 predominantly minority college graduates annually, with a strong specialty in STEM- and business-related education. UNCF knows that in business, as in education, one size never fits all. Each UNCF program is a unique partnership between UNCF and our corporate sponsor. We will work collaboratively with you to create a program that best suits your corporate environment.
Innovative Employer-Driven Pathways
UNCF’s STEM Solution
In the next 15 years, U.S. STEM demand will outpace supply. To maintain a healthy economy, our nation needs a strong pipeline of diverse, highly skilled STEM workers. Minorities, in particular African Americans, are vastly underrepresented in STEM fields due to inadequate foundational skills in middle and high school, lack of financial resources for higher education and low awareness of/interest in STEM.
UNCF is uniquely positioned to help advance the dialogue on STEM education and employment and educate more African Americans in STEM. Today, the organization provides more than $22 million in scholarships to minorities pursuing STEM degrees.
UNCF STEM Scholars Program
The UNCF STEM Scholars Program was recently launched with a $48 million dollar gift from the Fund II Foundation. The program represents a 10 year commitment to support 500 top African American high school students committed to major in STEM in college and pursue careers in STEM fields. In addition, the program will support students interested in tech-entrepreneurship and will provide unique opportunities for them to learn more about launching tech-startups and commercialization processes.
The UNCF-Merck Science Fellowship Awards
This 15-year, $33 million partnership, has to date provided scholarships, fellowships, internships and mentoring support to more than 400 African American science students from more than 166 different colleges and universities.
UNCF/KOCH Mentoring Program
This stipend-supported initiative is designed to cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset in African-American millennials by connecting them to talented faculty mentors or subject matter experts serious about creating innovators and future leaders.
UNCF’s STEM Solution: Building a Diverse Corporate Workforce
UNCF has years of experience in diversity “match-making”. Now, we’re focusing that experience to help form partnerships with companies that want a pipeline of diverse, STEM-educated college graduates. Program involves a comprehensive nationwide project to build and maintain a pipeline of diverse and well-educated STEM professionals and is custom-crafted to meet the inquiring company’s needs.
STEM Pipeline Program
The STEM Pipeline Program is an innovative, collaborative partnership of private and public-sector sponsors and non-profit organizations designed to increase the pipeline of African- Americans and other under-represented minorities in science-related fields. The program utilizes resources at all levels of the community. From the local public school system, which provides access to qualified, diverse students, to hands-on scientific training facilitated by program partners scholarship, recipients have access to the information, financial resources and practical experience needed to ensure a successful profession in a STEM discipline.
UNCF’s Gates Millennium Scholars program
A $1.6 billion, 20-year program funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has produced 1,300 low-income, high-achieving African American, Hispanic, Native American and Asian/ Pacific Islander STEM-major graduates from more than 1,000 colleges since its first graduating class in 2004-2005.
Key Stem Programs
WALTON-UNCF K-12 Education Fellows Program
The Walton-UNCF K-12 Education Fellowship is a leadership and talent development initiative aimed at building a robust pipeline of high-achieving African Americans engaged in education reform in America. The program selects undergraduate juniors from select historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) to participate in a leadership development and paid intern placement program that partners with innovative K-12 educational reform enterprises.
- Summer Internship - One of the principal elements of the program is a paid summer internship that exposes fellows to professional careers at leading K-12 education organizations and schools focused on education.
- Student Leadership Conference - Students selected for the fellowship will are required to participate in a 3-day professional development student leadership conference prior to the start of their internship.
- Education Case Competition - This case competition is a required component designed to strengthen critical thinking, problem solving, and teamwork skills.
- Career Coaching - As part of their professional development UNCF will provide each intern with a career coach to work with over the course of their summer internship experience. Fellows will be able to take advantage and interact with a personal coach to customize and monitor his/her professional growth. One major UNCF partner is CareerCore, a student coaching and professional career development firm. UNCF has successfully contracted CareerCore for several years to provide robust professional development and career coaching for our student interns.
- Alumni and Networking Opportunities - This fellowship aims to support alumni even after they have completed their undergraduate degree with the goal of assisting alumni in securing entry-level career positions in education organizations and cultivating alumni exposure to networking opportunities with education leaders.
Mentorship for Environmental Scholars (MES)
The Mentorship for Environmental Scholars (MES) Program is a nine-week paid summer internship that provides exposure to laboratory research in the areas of biotechnology, computer science, environmental science and engineering to underrepresented college students. The MES program actively recruits qualified undergraduates for extensive training that will pilot them towards gainful employment in various research and management positions within the Department of Energy (DOE).
- 55 student internships have been awarded.
- Many MES interns have presented their research paper at various national and international venues, including the National Conference on Undergraduate Research, the Georgia Academy of Science Conference, the American Society of Agronomy Conference, the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students, and the International Safe Water Conference.
Harriet G. Jenkins Pre-doctoral Fellowship Program (JPFP)
The Harriett G. Jenkins Predoctoral Fellowship Program (JPFP) increases the number of graduate degrees awarded to underrepresented persons (women, minorities, and/or persons with disabilities) participating in the STEM workforce, thereby eliminating the shortage of skilled workers. Approximately 20 students are selected annually to receive financial support for their graduate education. Fellowship tenure is a maximum of 36 months for individuals pursuing a doctorate and/or master’s degree in NASA-related fields, for example; Aeronautics/ Aerospace, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, etc.
- To date, 131 graduate students, representing over 50 institutions, have participated in the JPFP
- 110 graduate student research awards were granted to facilitate research at NASA Centers
- 62 students have earned graduate degrees as a result of JPFP support
- 60% of the master’s degree recipients immediately continued their studies in a Ph.D. program
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