Northark receives $747K NSF grant to increase STEM completion

Northark receives $747K NSF grant to increase STEM completion

Mon Aug 29, 2022 at 09:08 AM

North Arkansas College has been awarded a $747,759 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant focused on increasing the number of low-income students in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers.

“The funds and networking opportunities provided by this grant will generate life-changing experiences for these students that will propel them onto the next step of their careers, which is using their talent to make a substantial impact on our future as we become more competitive in the world economy,” President Dr. Rick Massengale said.

The grant team is composed of Valerie Martin, department chair of Math, Science and Agriculture, Rick Williams, Information Technology instructor and Rose Sims, director of TRIO/SSS program and was led by Dr. Laura Berry, interim dean of Health Professions and director of institutional partnerships and special initiatives.

“We are thrilled with this opportunity to provide support that will help students who are academically talented, but low-income, to succeed in high-needs STEM areas!” Dr. Berry commented. “This NSF S-STEM grant will allow us to provide scholarships, as well as a broad range of other evidence-based curricular and co-curricular supports including cohorts, access to a Mentoring Network, and ongoing career development activities.”

The grant spans five years and will fund scholarships to at least 28 students pursuing degrees in Cybersecurity; Data Science; Information Technologies; or Science, Engineering, and Math. Scholarships can be renewed for a second year for students who continue to qualify. Each S-STEM scholar will be placed in a cohort of students in the same or a related field of study. Cohorts will share a pair of faculty and staff mentors and will have access to a broader Mentoring Network. This project will also provide career development activities. The target population for this project are students who may otherwise have to prioritize basic needs over education. By alleviating financial and other obstacles, these students will have the opportunity for a rewarding career and social mobility and will contribute to a more diverse STEM workforce.

North Arkansas College is committed to providing an educational and work environment for its students, faculty, and staff that is free from sexual discrimination including sexual harassment, sexual assault, and sexual violence. No form of sexual discrimination will be tolerated. See the full North Arkansas College Title IX Policy and Procedures for the specific definitions of sexual harassment and sexual violence, including examples of such conduct.