The Increasing Diversity in Environmental Careers (IDEC) program provides a unique college-to-careers pathway for underrepresented STEM college students, which reduces barriers to successfully completing a STEM degree and preparing participants for post-graduation employment. This program is specifically for individuals who self-identify as women, black, indigenous and/or people of color (BIPOC), and/or individuals with a disability, who want to pursue a career in environmental and natural resources fields. Students receive a fellowship, mentorship, and paid internship during their academic journey.
The IDEC program consists of three parts:
- Fellowship: The fellowship provides students with a supportive community of peers, a yearly academic scholarship, and professional development opportunities. Fellows work with the program coordinator who manages resources and helps students navigate the challenges during their academic journey.
- Mentorship: Fellows are connected with professionals in the field who can share their experiences and support them throughout the program journey. The mentorship aims to enhance college success, encourage personal and professional development, and promote career advancement by pairing fellows with employees at one of the participating state agencies.
- Internship: Fellows learn more about environmental and natural resource career paths and gain hands-on experience through paid full-time internships during the summer with the MN DNR, MPCA and BSWR.
- Details available at https://www.conservationcorps.org/idec-qualifications
- Individuals who self identify as women, black, indigenous, and/or people of color (BIPOC) and individuals with a disability. (Definition of Disability defined by MN Statute 363A.03 Subdivision 12)
- Second- or third-year college/university students with at least two years of school left (as of Fall 2022) pursuing a STEM/Natural Resources degree with a desire to work in environmental/ natural resources careers upon graduation.
- Accepted to or currently enrolled in a two or four-year full-time undergraduate program at an accredited Minnesota state, community, private, or tribal college/university.
- Willingness to commit to the full IDEC program upon graduation (see program timeline).
- Authorized to work in the United States.