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QEM TCUP EAGER “Native Languages and Technology” Program

The Quality Education for Minorities (QEM) Network received support from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to investigate the effects of collaborative technology-enabled, hands-on language research projects on the recruitment into, and retention of, American Indian males in Computer Science or Information Technology (CS/IT) courses and majors. The goal of this TCUP EAGER project is to increase the number of declared computer science majors among American Indian males at the participating institutions while enhancing advancing knowledge of computational linguistics.[1] The project addresses the underrepresentation of American Indian males in STEM courses and careers. This initiative is supported by a QEM grant “Cultural Engagement and Recruitment of Native American Males into Computer Science through Computational Linguistics” through the (NSF)’s EArly-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) and Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUP) Programs.(HRD #1446997).
Project’s Goal: to recruit and retain American Indian males as computer science majors at participating tribal colleges and to enhance the understanding of computational linguistics in the preservation of Native languages. Students will collaborate, discuss their interests and ideas, and decide on technology-focused language projects to undertake upon return to their respective campuses.
In QEM’s 2010 Workshop on the Recruitment and Retention of Native American Male Students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), participating TCUs identified the need for culturally-relevant curricula, opportunities for early leadership experiences, peer networks, and mentorship in supporting male students. The Project plan addresses each of these needs by examining whether culturally-focused computational linguistics, team-based, projects can increase interest and persistence in computer science as well as leadership in STEM among American Indian male students. It is expected that the project will develop a cohort of students who will likely continue in the CS/IT pipeline to help meet the national need for a competitive STEM workforce.