Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY) has received a $1 million S-STEM grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), to promote STEM education among minority students. The grant project will be led by Computer Information Systems Professor Anna Salvati, Science Professors Lalitha Jayant and Adolfina Koroch, and Mathematics Professor Abdramane Serme.
The initiative, Broadening STEM Participation Among Minority Students in an Urban Community College, "represents a major undertaking on the part of BMCC to increase the number of low-income, academically talented students traditionally overlooked by the STEM disciplines," says John Montanez, Associate Dean of Grants and Development who guided the project proposal through its inception and submission to NSF.
He adds that most importantly, "the program is also transformative, providing a more personalized learning experience among students by capitalizing on the wide-range of academic support services developed by the college over the past six years."
Other outcomes of the grant will be to develop an infrastructure enabling students to work as teams conducting research outside the classroom, and to increase recruitment, retention and graduation rates among STEM students. The award period is July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2021.
Anna Salvati, Professor of Computer Information Systems and Principal Investigator of the grant, explains that eligible students will receive a full year’s scholarship, $5,000, covering tuition, as well as funds to cover the cost of books, student fees and MetroCards.
“The project will also provide dedicated STEM advisors, and offer the students options including a winter bridge program; an intensive five-week course that will introduce them to all aspects of scientific research and prepare them to take part in faculty-mentored research projects,” says Professor Salvati. “They will have the opportunity to participate in academic field trips to major research sites and complete internships within government agencies and industries such as entertainment, finance and banking.”
Other recent grants supporting STEM or the promotion of minority students in STEM at BMCC include those from the Minority Science Engineering Improvement Program, Retention and Improvement in STEM Education (MSEIP-RISE); the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) and National Institutes of Health (NIH).