The Center for Broadening Participation in STEM at Arizona State University is a research organization specializing in developing and implementing inclusive and equitable educational strategies specifically for underrepresented students in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The Center for Broadening Participation in STEM (CBP-STEM) provides diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in STEM educational opportunities and experiential learning services and training, and studies the impact of this work on outcomes for STEM faculty, staff and students.

Our work addresses these national focus areas:

  • Hispanic population:  Tap into the talent of this growing population and expunge the achievement gap.
  • Community colleges:  Support these institutions designed to lead students directly to the workforce or onto a pathway to bachelor’s and advanced degrees.
  • STEM workforce:  Invest in the national imperative to graduate more STEM students with higher earning potential and economic impact.

Accepting Applications for the Kickstarter 2.0 for COHORT 2 and COHORT 3!

To maximize STEM’s economic and educational benefits, the center focuses on bringing together Hispanic-serving, minority-serving, and rural institutions to focus on STEM educational opportunities. The center also develops specific plans and programs that help faculty and administrators effectively and efficiently recruit, educate and retain students in STEM. An overarching goal is to equip faculty and researchers with the specific DEI knowledge, skills, and inclusive language they need to develop their broader impact plans and successful grant proposals.

Our vision

To increase representation of minoritized communities in the STEM workforce through increasing research efforts, developing and implementing educational best practices and processes, and enabling campus environments to be intentional and culturally responsive. 

Our mission


on increasing the number of underrepresented students in STEM education and the number of skilled and prepared workers for the STEM workforce.


faculty and staff at Hispanic-serving, minority-serving and rural institutions nationwide.


students who have not traditionally been well represented in STEM fields including first-generation college students and students from rural communities.

Our purpose

Stories like these represent why we are pursuing this work. It’s a call to action, to create access and welcoming environments of belonging, to tap into the talent of so many people who are marginalized by existing systems that we aim to change. This is our “why.” Our purpose.

What we do

We provide program design and development to produce outcomes that are researched and evaluated. We do this by supporting higher education institutions with their goals for intentionality and student servingness toward broadening participation in STEM. We also support individual faculty members with incorporating broadening participation strategies in their proposals, and assist with implementing appropriate messaging and creating welcoming environments. A majority of our work has been funded by National Science Foundation.  What we do is:

  • Facilitate networking and collaboration among faculty and staff at community colleges, Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs), minority-serving institutions (MSIs) and rural institutions. [NSF#1902599, 2120021]
  • Support STEM faculty and staff in their development as communities of practice and change agents. [NSF#2142734, 2120021]
  • Serve as a collective impact backbone organization for HSIs and MSIs — a collaborator and facilitator, not a competitor — to achieve a common vision. [NSF#2120021, 1902599]
  • Guide teams of STEM faculty and staff to develop and implement STEM plans that incorporate culturally responsive practices and student servingness. [NSF#2120021, 2142734]  With support from Excelencia in Education, we created the STEM-Evidence-based Student Servingness (STEM-ESS) Framework to facilitate faculty teams in their development of these plans.
  • Promote and support experiential learning through culturally-responsive undergraduate research and work-based experiences, such as internships and externships. [NSF#1953763, 2120021]
  • Assist faculty with the Broader Impacts component of their research proposals using culturally responsive language and effective student outreach, recruitment and retention processes. [NSF#2132183]
  • Incorporate culturally-responsive language and effective student outreach, recruitment and retention processes in all efforts to co-create a vision. 
  • Develop and deliver DEI and culturally responsive training workshops to STEM faculty and staff, project coordinators, program managers, employers and employees. [NSF#2120021, 2055362]  This website on Culturally Responsive Instruction for Advanced Technological Education (CREATE) contains our DEI training modules.
  • Promote technologies and technological education as the means to a viable STEM career. [NSF#2025490]]
  • Facilitate collaboration among math and technical education faculty to design improvements that bring context to embedded math principles. [NSF#1902599]
  • Host conferences that advocate for rural HSIs in their STEM education efforts. [NSF#1940949]
  • Host grantsmanship institutes and provide grant writing assistance for HSI STEM teams seeking NSF funding. [NSF#2142734]


STEM Evidence-based Student Servingness Framework

The STEM-ESS framework is targeted to any institution of higher learning (IHL) that wishes to accelerate success of Latino students in STEM. This website describes the framework that we use to facilitate faculty teams in their development of STEM plans. 

Culturally Responsive Education for Advanced Technician Educators

Culturally Responsive Education for Advanced Technician Educators (CREATE) is a 3-tier framework that helps STEM educators develop beliefs and competencies that are culturally responsive. This website contains our DEI training modules.


Active programs

NSF Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science (INCLUDES) ALRISE Alliance (NSF#2120021)

With this NSF Cooperative Agreement, we are building a framework for a networked improvement community – the ALRISE Alliance – that will systemically change higher education institutions to become student serving toward broadening participation in STEM. The vision of this alliance is to design, implement, manage and coordinate a nationwide effort that addresses the overarching broadening participation challenge to Accelerate Latinx Representation in STEM Education (ALRISE) with Institutional Intentionality and Capacity Building for Experiential Learning. The goal is that Latinx student retention and completion in STEM increases because students at two- and four-year Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) and emerging HSIs (eHSIs) engage in culturally responsive undergraduate research and work-based experiences, and self-report improved STEM identity and engagement. $10 million over five years, started August 1, 2022.

NSF Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) – Collaborative Research: Using Communities of Practice to Transform STEM education for Latinx Students at Two-Year Hispanic Serving Institutions (NSF#2142734)

This project aims to serve the national interest by improving STEM education for Latinx students at two-year Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), focusing on STEM planning teams (faculty, staff, administrators and students) as communities of practice (CoPs), promising elements leading to institutional transformation at 16 two-year HSIs nationwide. The project provides a STEM Evidence-based Student Serving (STEM-ESS) self-assessment and planning process that incorporates research outcomes from subject matter experts on Latinx student servingness, equity and intentionality. In pursuing high-impact activities, teams will look to adapt and implement evidence-based solutions and/or develop proposals for federal funding. Research findings and outcomes will add new knowledge to the STEM teaching and learning field and advance understanding of how cross-disciplinary and cross-functional STEM CoPs serve as institutional change agents to advance institutional capacity-building for STEM educational equity for Latinx students. $2.3 million over four years, started May 1, 2022.

NSF Advanced Technological Education (ATE) Collaborative Research: HSI ATE Hub 2: Professional Development for Culturally Responsive Technician Education (NSF#2055362)

This project aims to better serve and support a diverse population of students who are pursuing credentials in skilled technical fields. To do so, the project guides faculty to adapt and implement culturally responsive instruction in technician education courses. The project builds on the Hispanic-serving community college KickStarter project (NSF#1450661), the Hispanic Serving Institutions HSI/ATE Hub project (NSF#1929329), and the Westchester Community College Photonics and Laser Project (NSF#1700564). The project team is developing, pilot testing and disseminating a faculty professional development model that can help to shift faculty understanding, practice, and mindset from emphasis on perceived student deficits to asset-based thinking and mutual respect. $600,000 over three years, started July 1, 2021.

NSF HSI Program:  Work-focused Experiential Learning to Increase STEM Student Retention and Graduation at Two-year Hispanic-serving Institutions (NSF#1953763)

This project provides students with mentored work experiences in computer information systems. Students have access to on-campus externship experiences and internships in businesses and industries with the goal that these experiences will increase undergraduate student interest, persistence and success in computer information systems, as well as in STEM more broadly. To ensure that they are well-prepared for and gain the most from their work experiences, students receive training on employability skills such as communication, teamwork and project management. During their work experiences, students are mentored by faculty, industry professionals and peers. To strengthen the capacity of faculty to serve all students, including Hispanic students, the project provides faculty with professional development focused on equity mindset. The framework that provides mentored work experiences is being developed and piloted at Phoenix College in collaboration with the Center for Broadening Participation in STEM, which brings experience with internships and culturally responsive practices, and is being expanded to four other two-year HSIs in the region. Expected results of the project include: development of sustainable mechanisms to foster cross-sector partnerships; increased student retention and workforce readiness; and measurable successes for STEM students, particularly Hispanic students, at two-year HSIs. $2.5 million over five years, started April 1, 2020.

NSF ATE Program:  Impact of System-Wide Contextualization of Math (CXM) in Rural Arizona Colleges on Producing More Qualified Technicians (NSF#1902599)

Meeting the mathematics requirements for obtaining Career and Technical Education (CTE) credentials is a common barrier for students who are pursuing certificates or associated degrees needed for careers in STEM-oriented technician fields. A collaboration of five rural Arizona community colleges and the Center for Broadening Participation in STEM is developing, adapting and implementing contextualized mathematics modules, shared through the STEM Network. The goal of the project is to improve student completion in CTE programs across rural institutions in Arizona. $600,000 over four years, started April 30, 2019.

Excelencia in Education
To support institutions working to accelerate Latino student success in STEM, Excelencia in Education and the Center for Broadening Participation in STEM designed and implemented the STEM Evidence-based Student Serving (STEM-ESS) framework. The STEM-ESS framework integrates the KickStarter STEM assessment and processes with Excelencia in Education’s Seal of Excelencia data, practices and leadership components, the four key practices found by Gomez in 4-year HSIs with equitable outcomes for Hispanic students in STEM, and the National Academy of Science and Medicine’s Indicators for Monitoring Undergraduate STEM Education. The STEM-ESS framework is targeted to any institution of higher learning that wishes to accelerate success of Latino students in STEM.

Completed programs

NSF HSI Conference: Transforming STEM Education at Rural Hispanic-Serving Institutions Across the Nation (NSF#1940949)

Seventy participants from rural HSIs attended this virtual, three-day rural STEM HSI conference hosted by Central Arizona College and the Center for Broadening Participation in STEM in September 2020. Participants examined themes in undergraduate STEM education including: K-12, two-year, and four-year partnerships; career and workforce preparation; innovative STEM teaching and learning; student support strategies; culturally responsive education; and external funding. Facilitated discussions led to identifying the unique challenges that rural HSIs face in developing effective STEM programs that have robust student enrollment. The Consensus Report identifies these challenges and promotes solutions to address them. $99,000 over two years, started September 30, 2019.

NSF HRD KickStarter

The KickStarter program was a methodical, college-wide approach to improve STEM education achieved through STEM faculty/staff teams developing STEM plans. KickStarter successfully demonstrated its hypothesis that a detailed STEM plan and technical support would increase success in STEM education at two-year HSIs by providing a sound basis on which NSF proposals could be built. The goal was for 12 two-year HSIs to submit two proposals within a two-year span, with one proposal being awarded. The program doubled that goal and served 24 colleges in four cohorts. These colleges represented six states and ranged from large to small, urban to rural, and from stand-alone institutions to parts of the largest districts in the country. With an overall grant award success rate of 55% and $15.1 million in funding to the colleges, these results demonstrated that the innovative and comprehensive technical assistance of KickStarter proved successful for the two-year HSIs. $2.1 million over five years, started October 1, 2014.  An overview of the KickStarter project with results may be viewed in this video, which summarizes a peer-reviewed paper published in 2020 by the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE).

Middle Skills Internship Program 

With support from JPMorgan Chase Foundation, the Center for Broadening Participation in STEM awarded Arizona institutions with seed funding, grant oversight and guidance to ensure internship programs were successfully launched, stayed on track, met their goals and were sustainable. Participating institutions included Arizona’s Career and Technical Educational Districts (CTEDs) and community colleges, all of whom benefited from the funding and guidance to develop high-quality, sustainable middle-skills internship programs for their students. Program areas included health sciences, medical, dental and veterinary assistants; information technology and cyber security; manufacturing; engineering; and energy and utilities. The successful programs dedicated time and effort to building strong partnerships with local business and industry, allowing them to “test drive the talent” they produced. In turn, business and industry partners provided on-the-job work experiences for students, building a pipeline of skilled employees to match their local workforce needs.


For information about CBP-STEM or how you can collaborate with us, contact: Shayna McCabe at [email protected]