Creating a Path to STEM Careers in Psychology for Under-Represented Minorities is a three-year grant funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). This program uses a multifaceted, whole-student approach that supports students, increases student retention, and bolsters transfer rates. Specifically, the project will: 

  1. Design and implement a STEM minor within the BMCC psychology major (A. A.) that promotes STEM-based career paths
  2. Integrate a cohort model and supplemental instruction into the curriculum
  3. Align the BMCC STEM minor curriculum with the City College of New York (CCNY) psychology curriculum (B.S.)
  4. Provide research opportunities within and across BMCC and CCNY research labs
  5. Provide faculty development and support the integration of cognitive and non-cognitive interventions into the curriculum and faculty pedagogy


Despite the growing demand for neuroscientists, clinical psychologists, and cognitive psychologists Black and Latinx/Hispanic scientists are underrepresented in these areas. In 2018, about 238 of every 100,000 U.S. residents earned a STEM bachelor’s degree. However, among Black residents only 161 out of every 100,000 have done so (Ladyzhets, 2020). The current under-representation of racial/ethnic groups in STEM education mirrors that found in the workforce. From 2017 to 2019, Black professionals made up only 9 percent of STEM workers in the United States — lower than their 11 percent share of the overall U.S. workforce. The representation gap was even larger for Hispanic professionals, who made up only 8 percent of people working in STEM and 17 percent of the total U.S. workforce (Funk & Parker, 2018). 

Increasing the presence of Black and Latinx/Hispanic scientists in STEM-related psychology fields allows for a wider range of  perspectives, which in turn contributes to a more nuanced understanding of key issues (Phillips, Kim Jun, & Shim, 2011). Now, more than ever, community colleges, where many Black and Latinx/Hispanic students begin their undergraduate journey, must find ways to retain, support and graduate students of color. 

The Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) is uniquely positioned to support Black and Latinx/Hispanic students and to train the next generation of neuroscientists. BMCC is the largest of the twenty-four colleges within the City University of New York (CUNY). The campus is located in downtown Manhattan and embraces the cultural diversity of New York City and beyond. An Hispanic-Serving Institution, the college welcomes students from the New York City boroughs as well as those who come from all over the world. BMCC has students from over 155 countries, who speak a variety of languages. The college is a diverse teaching and learning community committed to advancing equity and the intellectual and personal growth of students. The BMCC Psychology program currently offers an Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree that services 1476 students.