The American Chemical Society (ACS) has supported the increased participation of minorities in the chemical sciences through programs for minorities and economically disadvantaged students since 1968.
Through Project SEED (Summer Educational Experiences for the Disadvantaged), the Society encourages about 200 to 300 economically disadvantaged minority high-school students each year to enter careers in science through summer experiences in research. Over the past thirty-three years, more than 6,000 students nation-wide - 86% underrepresented ethnic minorities - had opportunities to establish mentoring relationships with chemists at colleges, in industry and in government through summer research experiences, with 55% subsequently selecting college majors in the sciences. ACS's local sections work to recruit both students and mentors for SEED, where the mentoring activity includes guidance on a research project for 8-10 weeks, reporting on project findings, and professional development including attending scientific lectures, visiting local industries and universities, and providing assistance with college applications. A 1996 survey showed that 70% of the program participants majored in a science in college following their SEED experience, with 63% earning BS degrees, 13% earning MS degrees,7% earning doctoral degrees, and 9% earning other degrees.
ACS also provides financial support for economically disadvantaged minority students (and has done so since 1995) through a multi-million dollar scholarship program to assist students in achieving degrees in the chemical sciences. More than 900 students have received support, of whom 56% are female, 44% are male; their ethnic groups include African-American (56%,), Hispanic/Latino (38.5%), and American Indian (5.5%). Those graduated thus far total 276, of whom 56% are female, 44% are male; their ethnicity are African-American (52%,), Hispanic/Latino (43%), and American Indian (5%); with 43% enrolled in graduate programs and 34% employed in the chemical science workforce. Program graduates become part of the Scholars Program Alumni Network, which provides ongoing information about ACS and the scholars program, and provides alumni with opportunities to serve as mentors to current scholars.