The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded Community College of Aurora $570,000 in grants over the next five years to support its efforts to open access to careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).
CCA has earmarked the NSF funding (Grant number 1458447) to provide 48 two-year scholarships, as well as support and transition services for college-ready students enrolled full time in STEM-related fields.
A total of 12 scholarships will be offered at the beginning of each academic year to begin a new cohort of STEM scholars. Those scholarships will renew for a second year provided its participants meet academic targets and other program requirements. The fifth year of the grant will focus on supporting the last scholarship recipients through graduation and transition.
“The STEM scholarships that this funding provides will allow our students to attend full-time, focus on their studies, maximize their considerable potential, and realize their academic and career aspirations,” CCA President Dr. Betsy Oudenhoven said. “We are very excited about the doors the NSF has opened for students who might not otherwise have had the opportunity or support.”
First-generation, low-income, women, and minority students will be encouraged to obtain academic credentials and transition to a four-year STEM-related college/university program. Recruitment efforts will target CCA’s expansive concurrent enrollment program and sizable immigrant and refugee student populations.
CCA also will partner with College Track, a national program targeting underserved communities, to capture a cohort of students who receive college preparatory services at the beginning of high school. Those services will continue through college completion, including mentoring, intensive supplemental instruction, and proactive student monitoring and coaching at CCA as part of comprehensive transition and support services.