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LCCC Receives $1 Million Grant for STEM Students

published Tuesday, January 9, 2018
Lehigh Carbon Community College (LCCC) was recently awarded a five-year, $1 million grant by the National Science Foundation under the S-STEM program, which is designed to produce skilled graduates prepared to enter the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) workforce. 
 
The Start SMART project, which stands for Self-Motivated, Academic, Reflective and Talented, will provide scholarships for 90 to 100 academically talented, low-income students to increase their retention, degree completion and transfers to four-year programs.
 
“We are thrilled to be able to offer scholarships to our students who are interested in pursuing STEM careers,” said LCCC President Dr. Ann D. Bieber. “There is a demand for talented graduates in the STEM field, and we are happy to be able to help these students start their college careers at LCCC.”
 
Students majoring in science, engineering, mathematics, computing, drafting, industrial automation, electronics technology, electrical technology, mechanical technology and nanofabrication technology will participate as a cohort in structured activities to motivate them to persist in their STEM programs. These activities will include one-on-one mentoring with STEM faculty, orientation, monthly meetings featuring integrated learning labs, mathematics support, student-facilitated study groups, S-STEM buddies, presentations by professionals, workshops, field trips, STEM Club and job/transfer fairs.
 
Students will be required to create and maintain ePortfolios to record their goals, artifacts of coursework and activities, and ongoing reflections of their personal and professional development.
 
A component of the project is a research study to determine whether the project’s evidence-based strategies will lead to academic success for community college students in STEM programs.
 
The principal investigator for the grant is Assistant Professor Dr. Deepika Khilnaney. Other faculty members assisting with the project are Assistant Professor Richard Snyder and Assistant Professor Maureen Maikner.
 
Students interested in participating in the program, which starts in the fall 2018, should contact Dr. Khilnaney at dkhilnaney@lccc.edu.