Stan State is receiving $790,417 from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to fund the University’s continuing efforts to design, deliver and test new practices for teaching in the STEM fields, specifically as they relate to recruiting and retaining students from underserved populations.
The grant coincides with similar amounts awarded to Fresno State and CSU Bakersfield by the NSF. All three universities will use the funds to study best practices in faculty development, including part-time faculty and adjunct faculty, to improve their teaching practice in ways that will promote student achievement, retention and motivation.
Each of the three institutions will focus on STEM disciplines that present the greatest challenges for their students. Stan State will use the grant to focus on mathematics. A team of social science and STEM researchers will lead the project to assess how the University’s innovative programs contribute to better education for minority and low-income students.
“I am thrilled that the NSF is again partnering with Stan State, this time to help underwrite an extremely important program in our ongoing efforts to develop and promote STEM learning practices within our Hispanic student community,” said Stan State President Ellen Junn. “I also would like to extend my gratitude to Dr. Bill Potter for leading the effort and also to Dr. Jung Ha An, Dr. AnaMarie Guichard and Dr. Harold Stanislaw for their diligent work in securing this important grant.”
With a student population that is slightly more than 50 percent Hispanic, Stan State is one of 133 public four-year colleges nationwide that have been designated as Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) and have been actively involved in recruiting students from underserved populations into STEM studies. Hispanics constitute 16 percent of the U.S. workforce, but they make up only 6 percent of workers in STEM fields.
Stan State’s latest NSF award was announced by Representative Josh Harder (CA-10). Congress has directed NSF to award grants to HSI colleges and universities, and to invest in projects that build capacity and increase retention and graduation rates for STEM students at HSIs.
Last year, Stan State received two grants from the NSF, totaling $2.2 million, to develop and support STEM education practices in underserved communities.