Bakersfield College has received a grant to help Hispanic and Latino students be successful in gaining a STEM education. The grant itself to go to Hispanic Serving Intuitions. Hispanic Serving Institutions are educational institutions with 25 percent or more total undergraduate Hispanic or Latino full-time equivalent student enrollment.
This five-year funding agreement will support these students, specifically from low-income backgrounds. Additionally, it will support and encourage first-generation students. This is part of a push by both educational institutions and partnerships to expand STEM education to a more diverse group of students.
“Bakersfield College is a leader in providing high-quality education to traditionally underserved students, and while we are supporting them with high-tech and high-touch support, said President of Bakersfield College, Dr. Zav Dadabhoy. “We are simultaneously growing our programs because our students are engaging with their education at a younger age and these intentional support systems help them grow in confidence to know they are capable of achieving great things”.
Expanding STEM Education Accessibility to More Students
The U.S Department of Education grant will help students who want a STEM education but need financial and academic support. According to Dadabhoy, this kind of funding will allow the university to support STEM-interest students. This means students who started with lower math scores or those who came from another career but are interested in a STEM field.
What Will this Fund Go Toward Specifically?
Well, there are quite a few things. This $5 million, five-year grant will support student services. Specifically, this funding will create more internships, offer more specialized career counseling, and broaden research opportunities. Additionally, money will go towards strengthening connections with local companies. This can help to ensure that students get hands-on experience and are more prepared for the careers they are interested in pursuing.
Funding will also establish new positions at Bakersfield. These positions include a STEM internship and career coordinator with Career Education and Community Engagement, which will help introduce students to careers and jobs. Additionally, it will establish an outreach coordinator and community college liaison that will help with STEM exposure to underrepresented groups. The program will also host a bilingual speaker series focusing on STEM education.
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