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Former Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, Jr. (Photo: Kean for Congress).

Murphy signs bill to boost underrepresented groups in STEM

By Nikita Biryukov, May 07 2021 10:37 am

Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law a bill meant to boost recruitment and retention for underrepresented students in STEM Thursday.

“I am pleased that this legislation was signed today. STEM fields are some of the fastest-growing in the country and students who would like to pursue a STEM career should be able to do so regardless of their gender or ethnicity,” said Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean (R-Westfield). “This law will make certain that colleges and universities focus on ways to recruit historically underrepresented students in STEM programs.”

Kean sponsored the bill along with State Sen. Nellie Pou (D-Paterson). The measure requires the secretary of higher education create a program to help colleges and universities recruit and retain women and other underrepresented groups in science, technology, engineering and math programs.

The bill cleared both chambers of the legislature unanimously.

“Underrepresented students experience all sorts of cultural and institutional barriers while they pursue a STEM field,” Kean said. “By identifying these obstacles, and notifying institutions of higher education, we can help these students reach their academic goals.”

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