CNS Student Success and Diversity
Our mission is to inspire, guide, support, and empower students from every walk of life to succeed, from their freshman through their senior year.
The Office of Student Success and Diversity supports and reinforces the college’s commitment to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion within our community. To this end, we develop initiatives to increase the recruitment, retention, and success of CNS students, especially those from populations traditionally marginalized in the sciences including those from underrepresented minority populations (Black/African American, Latinx, Indigenous/First Nations, Pacific Islander), first-generation college, low-income, and transfer students.
In this time of great uncertainty, there are also opportunities for a better tomorrow. The global pandemic and national awakening to racial violence has challenged us to consider our relationships to each other, our institutions, and established academic and social structures.
Office Hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
First-Generation Pioneers: Biology RAP (Bio-Pioneers)
Bio-Pioneers is a residential academic program (RAP) celebrating first-generation students in CNS who are life sciences majors (biology, microbiology, biochemistry and molecular biology, animal sciences, and pre-veterinary science).
The Bio-Pioneers program helps students transition to college and prepares them for a career in science. Students in this RAP take specially designed seminars during their first year, including their required first-year seminar (fall). They also complete the required introductory biology courses (151, 152, 153) in a small-sized class. Program participants will interact with CNS faculty members and staff and learn about research opportunities.
Transfer Student Alliance Program
The Transfer Student Alliance Program was created to assist transfer students with their unique needs in transitioning to the university.
Forsythe Grange Mentoring Program
The Forsythe Grange Mentoring Program creates opportunities for undergraduate students to be engaged in mentorship, especially students belonging to underserved groups in science disciplines, such as first-generation, underrepresented minorities and those demonstrating financial need. Students receive scholarships and serve as mentors—sharing experiences and knowledge about their science area with incoming first-year students. Applications are due in the Spring semester (date TBD).
William Lee Science Impact Program
The William Lee Science Impact Program (Lee SIP) is a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program designed to expand and broaden participation in undergraduate research. The program provides students the opportunity to work on fun, novel, and interesting scientific questions by matching them with faculty members with similar research interests. Lee SIP scholars are mentored directly by research faculty, work within a research team, and participate in professional development workshops.
Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation
The Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program strengthens the preparation, representation, and success of underrepresented minority students majoring in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.
Recruitment and Outreach
The Office of Student Success and Diversity supports the recruitment of students from historically marginalized and underserved populations through programming for students from local high schools and community colleges and participation in university-wide recruitment efforts.
In collaboration with several offices across campus, the Office of Student Success and Diversity participates in campuswide recruitment events.
Community College Day
This event, hosted by the office and other STEM colleges, is a fantastic opportunity for students and faculty from community colleges to learn about new opportunities and initiatives at UMass that are offered for transfer students. This event is open to all community colleges, but focuses on those in Hampshire, Hampden, and Franklin Counties. Also, please contact us to schedule a virtual or in-person visit to your community college!
STEM Starter Academy
This partnership between the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the University of Massachusetts, and Greenfield, Holyoke, and Springfield Technical Community Colleges encourages community college students to pursue majors in the sciences and successfully transition to UMass. Events include hosting current community college students for on-campus visits as well as a summer bridge program for incoming transfer students. Learn more about Stem Starter Academy.
High School Visits
We promote higher education and pursuit of degrees in science disciplines by hosting high school students for day visits to the college. Please contact us to schedule a virtual or in-person visit to your school!
We have an active social media presence that we use to highlight the diversity of our college and university. Our #WeAreCNS campaign, for example, allows students to tell us about their lives. You can find us on Instagram.
UMass Amherst has a range of resources you can tap into to support your student success.