The $1.2 million NSF-sponsored project, “Building an Alliance for New Careers in STEM (KC-BANCS): An Infusion Model for Inclusion of Youth and Veterans with Disabilities” is a community engagement opportunity that embodies and reinforces the UMKC and School of Computing and Engneering’s mission of being a model urban university, one that we strive to have emulated by other urban institutions. Dr. Ronda Jenson, UMKC Institute for Human Development, is the PI and Dean Kevin Truman, UMKC School of Computing & Engineering, is a Co-PI.
The UMKC School of Computing and Engineering and the UMKC Institute for Human Development will co-lead this program and an Alliance of secondary, post-secondary, employer, and community organizations who are committed to increasing the participation of people with disabilities in STEM education programs and pathways. The project is designed to assure that youth and veterans with disabilities are included in the wealth of STEM initiatives already occurring within the Kansas City region. In fact Kansas City is the 4th largest engineering community in the nation and the 1st in the number of engineers per capita. UMKC and its Alliance partners are ideally positioned to facilitate improved access to STEM careers for individuals with disabilities.
The UMKC School of Computing and Engineering brings a long history of excellence in STEM education and has well developed partnerships and Alliances with a regional network of secondary and postsecondary STEM education programs. The UMKC Institute for Human Development brings a 30 year history of excellence in services and support to people with disabilities and their families and serves as the University Center for Excellence in Disabilities for the state of Missouri. Together they bring a unique blend of the expertise and access to regional partners that are needed to make this program a success.
This project fully aligns with the UMKC mission and is of great importance to the community, employers and especially the disabled individuals that can benefit from a STEM education. See the September 16, 2009 Wednesday Sun article, Grant will help university serve more students with disabilities.