The objective of this program is to encourage and develop talent among undergraduate and graduate students with disabilities who have demonstrated an interest in pursuing a STEM career.
How it works
Entry Point! provides a wide, national recruitment and screening effort to discover outstanding students with disabilities. Each year, it develops new pools of candidates with the technical knowledge and skills that Entry Point! partners desire. Qualified candidate referrals are sent to workplace partners to make the final hiring decisions. Interns and their managers at partner sites receive support during the program as well as post-placement follow-up and mentoring.
Entry Point! invites partnerships with industry, university research programs, and government agencies in a mutual effort to place students with disabilities in 10-week, paid internships in opportunities geared toward their skills and interests.
The AAAS Entry Point! program was created in response to the realization that students with disabilities, even those with strong academic records, were not being noticed as part of the talent pool for STEM employment. AAAS understands that internships are credible paths to competitive and sustained employment. They can be a mechanism for talented students with disabilities to participate in laboratory work, data analysis and other research activities with companies, government agencies and university research programs.
More than 600 individuals have interned through Entry Point! since its inception in 1996. Follow-up indicates that 85% of alumni are now working as scientists and engineers who have inspired new ideas, supported innovation and advanced new research. This is an astoundingly high success rate for a scientific fellowship program. The students’ successes prove their abilities to compete and contribute alongside their peers who do not have disabilities.