Santa Monica Lookout
|Santa Monica College Awarded $6 Million Grant to Expand STEM Program||
By Lookout Staff
October 6, 2016 -- Santa Monica College (SMC) will expand opportunities in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) for Hispanic and low-income students thanks to a nearly $6 million federal grant, College officials announced Wednesday.
The five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education will support the activities of the SMC STEM Learning and Leadership Innovation Center to increase the number of students interested in transferring to a four-year program or pursuing a career in STEM.
SMC was one of 38 Community Colleges statewide serving Hispanics that received grants totalling more than $40 million. SMC's STEM program was established in 2011 in partnership with UCLA with a $5.8 million grant from the Department of Education.
“This grant will allow us to build on the significant progress our Science and Research Initiative has made these last few years in collaboration with UCLA,” said SMC Superintendent/President Dr. Kathryn E. Jeffery.
“With this grant, SMC will continue preparing many more students for careers in STEM fields and will, also, impact the diversification of the STEM workforce overall,” Jeffery said.
SMC will use the new funding to develop an engineering program and physics-preparation courses and establish articulation agreements with four-year engineering programs, college officials said.
The grant also will help expand student support services, such as counseling and tutoring, with a focus on engineering and computer science students and establish "a permanent learning space" for the college’s STEM scholars, officials said.
Plans also call for a “transfer bridge program” in partnership with UCLA’s Undergraduate Research Center for year-round academic support and honors coursework for UCLA transfers, officials said.
In addition, the grant will "focus on extending opportunities for industry-based experiential learning opportunities and internships," they said.
Federal officials reviewed more than 200 applications for the 2016 Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI) STEM & Articulation Program award and "SMC’s ranked high,” said Beatriz Ceja-Williams, Director for the HSI Division of the U.S. Department of Education.
“We recognize the importance of STEM in this economy and are certain that SMC will implement projects and programs that will help increase the number of Hispanic and low-income students that graduate with degrees in STEM fields.”
For more information on the STEM program at SMC, visit www.smc.edu/stem or call (310) 434-3988.
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