SWTJC awarded $2.7 million STEM grant

SWTJC awarded $2.7 million STEM grant

SWTJC received $2.7 million from a U.S. Department of Education grant, which is scheduled to pay out over the next five years and focuses on increasing enrollment, retention, degree completion and transfer of Hispanic and low-income students in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields.

The STEMward Bound initiative will assist to further develop the current STEM program at SWTJC in a multitude of ways including to expand the Associate of Science degree program to offer 12 new STEM career pathways, acquire upgraded technology and new instructional labs for delivering rigorous STEM content, and create a STEM First-Year Experience (FYE) Program to address first-year transitional needs.

Other outcomes include establishing new STEM-specific articulation agreements with transfer institutions to improve rates of transfer and degree completion, to reform case management for STEM students in ways that provide intrusive advising, supplemental instruction support, individualized academic plans, and tracking of student performance.

According to Robert Ayala, Arts and Sciences Division Chair the grant will also expand dual credit courses with STEM courses in response to high achieving high school students with interest in STEM careers; and implement a professional development program that trains both college faculty and high school teachers on improving learner success in STEM.

“We are extremely excited for this opportunity,” Ayala said. “The SWTJC faculty and staff worked very hard in acquiring this grant, and we look forward to better serving our students and community.”

The current school year is a planning year for STEMward Bound, with full implementation beginning in 2019.

SWTJC was recently recognized as one of the top 150 community colleges in the nation by the Aspen Institute. For more information, visit