Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 599.00K | Year: 2013
STEM Scholars Connect is a comprehensive program that leverages strong partnerships with regional employers, transfer institutions, the local school district and community-based organizations with S-STEM scholarships and academic support services. STEM Scholars Connect is providing up to 60 academically talented and economically disadvantaged STEM Scholars with financial support that allows them to pursue STEM education full-time and enrichment activities that are designed to increase their rates of completing associate degrees in STEM fields.
Intellectual Merit: The STEM Scholars Connect project is addressing the national imperative to recruit and retain undergraduates in STEM disciplines. This is accomplished by implementing best practices, such as peer mentoring and cohort-building activities, providing opportunities to engage in research, offering scholastic support services that include a first-year STEMinar and interacting with industry professionals to explore STEM career pathways. The STEM Scholars Connect project provides a model for other community colleges to adapt and implement to increase graduation rates of students pursuing STEM majors.
Broader Impacts: By encouraging the participation of underrepresented groups, displaced workers, refugees and financially disadvantaged students, the STEM Scholars Connect project increases access to educational and professional opportunities for diverse students, thereby diversifying the STEM workforce. Dissemination of lessons learned from this project will inform better strategies for broadening the participation of underserved and underprivileged students in STEM disciplines.