ILSPRA is a five-year, $3.9 million, National Science Foundation (NSF) supported suite of programs and initiatives aimed at contributing to the academic success of "underrepresented racial and ethnic minority student" (URMs) groups in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields at participating Illinois postsecondary institutions. 


The following student populations are the intended beneficiaries of the program: 

  • American Indians Students

  • Alaska Natives Students

  • Black Students

  • Latinx/a/o Students

  • Native Hawaiian Students

  • Native Pacific Islander Students

In 2019, our Loyola University Chicago based research team was selected to design and execute the research and knowledge generation component of the grant. Over the five years of the grant we will focus on producing and sharing innovative and useful insights into whether and how the efforts of institutions in the Alliance enhance and sustain URMs access to and success in STEM. 

Accordingly, the ILSPRA research agenda seeks to answer two distinct but overlapping research questions:

  1. In what ways does participating in the alliance’s unique mentoring model inform the persistence and success of URMs?

  2. How do institutions committed to the success of URMs engage in the process of organizational learning in response to the introduction of a new initiative?


Intellectual products and additional information from the project will be shared here as it becomes available.

ILSPRA Participating Organizations 

  • Chicago State University      

  • DePaul University     

  • Governors State University 

  • Illinois Institute of Technology        

  • Malcolm X College    

  • Morton College          

  • Northeastern Illinois University     

  • Prairie State College 

  • Saint Augustine College        

  • Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville 

  • University of Illinois, Chicago          

  • University of Illinois, Springfield

  • Argonne National Laboratory

  • Fields Museum of Natural History

ILSPRA Research Team