The National Science Foundation (NSF) Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, or S-STEM for short, is one of a new brand of programs recruiting scholars from underrepresented groups.

The scholarships project builds ties between S-STEM faculty and scholars through living and learning communities, a structured mentoring program, research opportunities, high school admission counselors, fair visits, and outreach offered by the participating departments.

With almost a million dollars in NSF funding, the S-STEM SciTech Scholars Enrichment Project at North Carolina A&T State University is supporting high-achieving students with financial need at the historically black college.

Over the next five years, SciTech will award a total of 100 scholarships to undergraduate students from low-income backgrounds, who are majoring in physics, mathematics, chemistry, and electronics technology.

Each year, the project will recruit 20 students in physics, mathematics, chemistry, and electronics technology. The model will be coupled with a living-learning community and support for student-centered active learning.

A similar scholarship program is supported by S-STEM at Alabama A&M University, another ABET-accredited engineering school which is producing top black engineers.

The Scholarships for Success of Engineering and Computer Science Students project in the College of Engineering, Technology & Physical Sciences at Alabama A&M University received a million dollar grant in 2016.

The fund will provide financial support for 20 talented, low-income Mechanical & Civil Engineering, Construction Technology, and Computer Science majors in amounts up to $6000 per year for up to 5 years.

The project expects at least a 15% increase in the first-year retention, 30% increase in overall retention, and 85% of students to be employed or enroll in graduate school upon graduation.

Similarly, CMaPS or the Chemistry, Mathematics, and Physics Scholarships S-STEM scholarship program also aims to increase student graduation rates while improving academic performance.

CMaPS provides approximately 18 scholarships for first-year or second-year students and enhances the academic environment for S-STEM scholars as they complete undergraduate degrees in Chemistry, Mathematics, or Physics

All of the first year S-STEM scholars and some of the second year students live in one of Howard University‘s Living and Learning Communities, which has the theme of “Technology: Interdisciplinary Usage.”

The mission of the living-learning communities is to extend student learning opportunities outside of the classroom to heighten student intellectual and personal growth.

The living environments foster faculty and resident interactions that build a  sense of community for the students. In addition, a one credit hour course is being developed around this theme.

All S-STEM scholars take this course, which is also available to other Howard students. S-STEM scholars also have the opportunity to take a summer research course.

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