Funding, Grants & Awards

Cal State LA Grant to Improve STEM Diversity

California State University, Los Angeles has won nearly $500,000 from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to help diversify the STEM workforce.

The three-year, $464,977 grant will go toward expanding the university's first-year program for undergraduate students in its College of Engineering, Computer Science and Technology. Dubbed "FYrE@ECST," the program will use student cohorts, peer-assisted supplementary mathematics instruction, hands-on labs and a faculty mentor to help promote student success.

"Our strategy is to build on the community-oriented culture of our student body to develop the resources and environment to promote student excellence and success in computer science, technology, and engineering majors," said Emily Allen, dean of the engineering college and principle investigator on the grant.

The NSF identified CSULA as a leader among universities for the number of graduating Latino students who go on to earn Ph.D.s in STEM fields.

The first-year program was part of a larger California State University initiative aimed at producing more STEM professionals over the next decade and "was established to provide more holistic advisement and STEM foundational skills to students, so they can be successful in their majors and be inspired to complete their degrees," according to information released by the university.

"Our students are changing the face of STEM professions across the nation," said Cal State LA President William A. Covino in a prepared statement. "We looked forward to continued success."

"We are pleased to receive this grant, which will help provide insights into successful strategies to support the academic success of underrepresented students in STEM," added Allen.

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at jbolkan@gmail.com.

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