A new scholarship program at Spokane Community College will provide funds for the college to recruit and support 36 students studying science thanks to a grant from the National Science Foundation. This month, the SCC STEM Scholars Project was awarded $649,561 over the next five years.
The grant focuses on students with a demonstrated financial need and academic ability to complete a two-year SCC transfer degree leading to a career pathway in biology, chemistry or earth science. The project will put particular emphasis in recruiting students from high schools in low-income, rural counties in our region.
Seventy percent of the total grant funding will be used for scholarships, which will be based on individual student needs. The rest of the funding will be used to provide outreach to and retain these SCC STEM scholars through activities such as a unique field experience, a specifically designed guidance class, supported student research projects and dedicated faculty guidance.
A strong aspect of the project is a collaboration with the Washington State University’s College of Education-Spokane Campus to provide an independent evaluation and insights into interventions for increasing STEM student success rates at SCC.
“This project builds on Spokane Community College’s ongoing work to support student success,” said SCC President Kevin Brockbank. “Being able to help motivated students attend and complete in high-demand fields is exactly our mission. We are thrilled to have this dedicated support from NSF.”
Health care, manufacturing and professional, scientific and technical services are among the fastest growing economic sectors in the Spokane region and the need for workers with these skills is in high demand.
“This is such an exciting opportunity for students and faculty alike. The program will expand our ability to serve science students throughout our region, while also helping us improve on STEM education for the next generation of scientists,” said Jaye Hopkins, chemistry instructor and principal investigator for the grant.
For more information about Community Colleges of Spokane’s grant partnerships, please contact the Office of Grants & Sponsored Research at 509-434-5160.
About Spokane Community College
SCC is one of the largest community colleges in the state serving more than 20,000 students every year at its 150-acre campus in east Spokane and its centers in Colville, Inchelium, Ione, Newport and Republic. In addition to career/technical programs and liberal arts transfer degrees, SCC also provides adult basic education and English-as-a-second-language educational programs.
Note: Partial support for this work was provided by the National Science Foundation’s Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Program (S-STEM) under Award No. 1833712. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.