For the first time, SUNY Schenectady County Community College (SUNY SCCC) is a partner institution for a $4 million National Science Foundation (NSF) grant designed to increase undergraduate and graduate degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in underrepresented minority (UREP) student populations. The grant supports the SUNY Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (SUNY LSAMP) program, a collaboration and alliance of 14 SUNY colleges.
SUNY SCCC will receive $100,000 of the $4 million over the next five years, beginning in January 2017. The three leading goals of the funding will be to: meet the continuing challenge of preparing UREP students for a successful transition into STEM majors; provide experimental activities that lead to socialization into science; and promote systemic change by broadening participation in research. SUNY SCCC joins SUNY Stony Brook, the lead institution on the grant, and 12 other SUNY colleges that received the NSF grant funding.
Shown above are Hayden Paneth and Ilary Nicolas, Science majors, Dr. Lorena Harris, Director of the Collegiate Science and Technology Program (CSTEP), and Dr. Keylon Cheeseman, Instructor in the Division of Math, Science, Technology and Health, in the College's new Biotechnology Facility.
“Our alliance will utilize mentoring connections to develop strategies to improve student recruitment and retention,” said Dr. Penny Haynes, Vice President of Academic Affairs at SUNY SCCC. “We will also focus on enhancing STEM pathways from community college to four-year colleges and universities which serves to create a pipeline for global researchers and scholars.”
Dr. Steady Moono, President of SUNY SCCC, said, “We are proud to be a recipient of this grant as it demonstrates our strategy of being the Capital Region’s college for students looking for a forward-thinking curriculum and providing learning and skills that are applicable to today’s workforce.”
Since 1996, SUNY LSAMP has been an instrumental program to shape STEM education and forge new opportunities for UREP students to pursue and succeed in STEM programs and degrees in New York State. During the past five years, the program has been a catalyst in helping to nearly double community college students transferring to four-year STEM undergraduate programs.
NSF has supported the SUNY LSAMP program since its inception. This latest grant is the fifth stage of funding and will build upon and fine tune the Fostering STEM Identity through Transitions (FIT) model. Using this model, an in-depth theory driven examination will be conducted of the pivotal experiences that lead to engagement, retention and overall success of UREP STEM college students.