The California Alliance for Minority Participation (CAMP) program is a statewide initiative funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). CAMP is one of 42 national alliances dedicated to supporting underrepresented minorities along the degree pathway, including admission into master's and doctoral programs in science, technology, engineering, and math. The NSF LSAMP Bridge to Doctorate is also offered at alliances across the country (including University of California), with guaranteed support for the first five years of graduate study and an array of benefits, including mentorship, professional development, social networking, and career coaching.
CAMP strengthens the quality and quantity of underrepresented students receiving baccalaureate degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) studies at the University of California. CAMP offers extensive resources and unique opportunities for students to excel in their respective fields of study. The CAMP program began at UC Irvine in 1991 and nine UC campuses participate in the program, which now has the statewide office hosted by UC Riverside.
NSF eligibility guidelines state that students must identify with one of the following communities: Blacks or African Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, American Indians or Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and other Pacific Islanders. US Citizenship or Permanent Resident status is also required for the program due to federal funding.
CAMP UC Merced
CAMP at the University of California, Merced, provides support throughout the students' undergraduate years and the critical transition points along the STEM education pipeline.
The CAMP program at UC Merced is divided into three areas:
- Preparation for university life
- Academic excellence during college
- Careers after graduation
UCMerced CAMP achieves its important goals through faculty mentoring, experiential learning in summer and academic-year research programs, involvement in professional and scientific societies, exposure to the UC graduate environment and participation in key academic enrichment programs, including leadership development activities.
Undergraduate Mentorship Experience
Scholars are matched with UC Merced faculty members who serve as advisors and mentors. Mentors assist scholars in developing and completing educational action plans that include structured research, graduate school preparation and exploration, and participation in professional and/or scientific society meetings. Each action plan must clearly describe the expenses associated with the scholar’s research activities that will be supported by UC Merced CAMP, and be approved by the scholar, mentor and campus coordinator. Mentors also provide academic counseling related to challenges encountered in implementation of the educational plan.
Graduate Preparation & Career Coaching
Scholars participate in organized workshops that help prepare them for graduate school and beyong by further developing their professional skills training. In addition students will also receive preparation training for the GRE and coaching on career paths.
Campus Academic Enrichment and Leadership Development Opportunities
Scholars participate in academic enrichment programs providing special training in areas critical to academic and professional success, such as scientific writing, preparing and making academic presentations and development of specific research or research-related skills.
Annual University-Wide CAMP Symposium
All UC Merced CAMP scholars participate in the annual CAMP symposium. The event features:
- All scholars presenting their research results and methodologies with feedback from their colleagues, graduate students, and faculty members;
- Opportunities to network with fellow scholars, graduate students, graduate program administrators and faculty members;
- Scientific and academic presentations by leaders in the STEM fields, covering such topics as diversity in science, leadership in academia and industry, laboratory ethics, financing graduate education, and balancing family and graduate school;
- Presentations by national leaders in government, business or industry addressing issues of leadership in an increasingly diverse STEM environment; and,
- Opportunities to learn about mentoring future generations of students who may face obstacles to participation in higher education similar to those that current scholars might have faced in their own lives.
Summer Research Program Experience
UC Merced CAMP scholars participate in summer research experiences. Each scholar must commit to working full time on a research project during the summer (no summer course enrollment or part-time job), and will receive a summer stipend of $3,500.
Program Eligibility and Requirements
To be eligible for selection, each applicant must:
- Be enrolled in or about to be enrolled in a UC undergraduate degree program in the sciences, technology, engineering or mathematics
- Be in good academic standing with the university
- Be a US citizen or permanent resident (due to funding source)
- Be on track to receive a bachelor’s degree
- Be able to demonstrate potential for success in a graduate program
How to Apply
The UC Merced CAMP program identifies students who have:
- Experienced educational barriers to their academic progress, or who express a commitment to address the barriers that prevent participation of students from underrepresented groups in graduate academic programs;
- Experienced situations or conditions that impacted their advancement or ability to advance in a STEM field (e.g. the absence of a role model in the STEM field, absence of a family member who received a four-year college degree or graduation from a high school with poor financial or curricular support);
- Leadership potential to address the issues of underrepresentation of domestic minorities in the STEM fields;
- The potential to gain the personal and multicultural competency skills necessary to address the needs of a diverse state and global community through science and technology.
The following materials are needed to complete the UC Merced CAMP application:
- UC Merced CAMP online application form
- Statement of purpose and personal essay, as described in the online application
- One letter of recommendation
- One cumulative unofficial transcript from the my.ucmerced.edu portal
This opportunity is for UC Merced students who meet minimum eligibility requirements.
Jorge Arroyo, Director
Undergraduate Research Opportunities Center
Student Services Building, 214
Phone: (209) 228-4245
Emily Heng, STEM Coordinator
Undergraduate Research Opportunities Center
Student Services Building, 221
Phone: (209) 228-3378
Professor Gerardo Diaz
School of Engineering
Faculty Director, California Alliance for Minority Participation (CAMP)
University of California, Merced