Montana EPSCoR is fully committed to the pursuit of a more diverse faculty, staff and student population. It is not only important for Montana, but also essential for the success of the Nation's scientific and technical well-being. The MtEPSCoR program is focused on a concerted effort to approach increased diversity in a more systemic manner across Montana. The specific goals of MtEPSCoR's diversity programs are to increase the number of Native Americans entering and completing degrees in STEM fields, as well as increase the number of tenured/tenure-track faculty in STEM departments across the MUS who are from groups that have been historically underrepresented in STEM with particular consideration for Native Americans, which comprise the state of Montana's largest minority population.
Increasing workforce science literacy is critical for Montana's ability to address and respond to environmental change. Over the past 30 years, MtEPSCoR has played a significant role in providing innovative workforce development programs that have impacted K-12 students and increased the pipeline of students entering science and engineering programs. The overall goal of the MtEPSCoR workforce development plan is to engage components of Montana's business community, K-12 teachers, pre-college students (K-12), and college students and faculty that help to overcome some of the limitations inherent in a low population, large geographic state. It is also envisioned that the workforce development efforts will be well integrated into the program's research, education and diversity goals.
The overall goal of the MtEPSCoR External Engagement programs are to provide for Montanans, both in the public and private sectors, the ability to more fully engage with and benefit from the full array of MtEPSCoR programs. The MtEPSCoR External Engagement is also focused on supporting talented students within the MUS to become more proficient in high-tech business development. The specific goals of these programs are 1) to facilitate engagement with Montana's private sector and integrate research in applied practice and settings through Montana's private sector and non-profit organizations, and 2) to promote MtEPSCoR initiatives and engage the public in EPSCoR and STEM activities, fostering greater awareness of EPSCoR and generating a more scientifically literate public.