DAYTON, Ohio (AP) _ A University of Dayton program for minority students is getting a $2 million boost from the U.S. Air Force.

The Air Force award will provide tuition grants and work stipends to undergraduate and graduate students to perform research in areas including bioengineering and semiconductors. The award allows the program that offers research opportunities and job placement to continue another five years.

University of Dayton officials say the goal is to produce a diverse workforce of highly educated and trained minority men and women for technology fields. Universal Technology Corporation and Clarkson Aerospace also support the program.

University officials say the program’s graduation rate is about 70 percent. The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education shows the national graduation rate for minorities in engineering is about 42 percent.