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College of San Mateo Program Aims to Boost Diversity in STEM Fields

A new program at the College of San Mateo in California's Bay Area hopes to increase graduation rates for Latino and low-income students in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) subjects. The institution partnered with InsideTrack to provide students with access to the company's uCoach platform as well as one-on-one student success coaching over the next three years.

Funded by a Title III Hispanic-Serving Institutions STEM grant from the U.S. Department of Education, the program is "part of a broader effort across Silicon Valley by the education, tech, and philanthropic communities to close achievement gaps among Latino and low-income students in STEM disciplines and to connect them with meaningful STEM careers," according to a news announcement.

InsideTrack's coaches will work with students to define long-term goals and degree plans, as well as help with "soft skills" such as time management. The uCoach platform provides multiple communication channels for coaches and students, and generates data analytics to help fine-tune the college's student success initiatives.

"In the Valley and throughout our region, there is growing demand for college graduates with STEM credentials, creating opportunities for well-paying jobs with high potential for career advancement," said José Rocha, director of METaS, the Hispanic-Serving Institution — STEM grant at College of San Mateo, in a statement. "With the economic opportunity afforded through the growth in STEM fields, it is imperative that we help students from a wide range of backgrounds, particularly Latino and low-income students, succeed in STEM programs. Our partnership with InsideTrack enables us to provide students with the personalized support needed to chart a path to success, overcome obstacles and gain access to these thriving professions."

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].

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