Thanks to a team of faculty members from Millersville University, the University received a $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation. The award, Supporting Student Success: Improving Retention in STEM Fields by Implementing a Workforce Development Research Methods Program, aims to recruit, retain and graduate more academically talented students with financial need in STEM disciplines. Millersville was notified in the fall that the NSF had selected the University as an S-STEM site.
“I am most looking forward to seeing students excel and get started on a successful career path that will help ensure they make a big impact in the world after college,” says Dr. Janet White, chairperson and professor of mathematics at Millersville and program administrator for the grant.
The objectives of the Supporting Student Success project are to:
- Recruit 30 academically talented first-year students who have unmet financial need and are interested in majoring in the seven targeted STEM fields to join cohorts.
- Retain at least 90% of students from the first to the second year through the program’s financial and supportive services.
- Graduate at least 75% of the students in the program within four years of entry into the cohort.
- Place 100% percent of S-STEM scholars in employment in their fields of STEM study or related graduate programs within six months of graduation.
MU plans to provide S-STEM scholarships to 30 students (10 per cohort for three cohorts) over the six-year grant period at an average annual scholarship amount of $8,000, totaling 120 scholarships. Key components of the program include a Community Building Retention Activities Program (a combination of social support and community building activities to engage scholars) and a Workforce Development Program (a paid three-week summer interdisciplinary curricular bootcamp on how to succeed as a STEM professional that will be conducted at Wallops Island in Virginia).
“I am thrilled that the Supporting Student Success program is up and running, and we are all working hard to find scholars who will thrive at Millersville University and beyond in their professional careers,” says Dr. Kathryn Allen, assistant professor of organic/polymer chemistry at Millersville and S-STEM project manager.
The team that put together the grant proposal include:
- Janet White, Principal Investigator, Program Administrator, Mathematics
- Kathryn Allen, co-Principal Investigator, Program Manager, Chemistry
- Judith Cebra-Thomas, co-Principal Investigator, Biology
- Nazli Hardy, co-Principal Investigator, Computer Science
- Nanette Marcum-Dietrich, co-Principal Investigator, Educational Foundations
- Ajoy Kumar, Senior Personnel, Earth Sciences
- Carolyn Weaver, Senior Personnel, Biology
- Xin Li, Senior Personnel, Physics
- John Haughery, Senior Personnel, Applied Engineering, Safety and Technology
- Kristen Lawson, Senior Personnel, Academic Advising
The program aims to produce a strong, globally competitive STEM workforce complete with students equipped with scientific literacy and confidence in their field of study, disseminate the successes of those programs at various professional conferences, and produce graduates prepared to meet local and regional workforce needs.
The Project Management Team will select the first scholarship cohort this spring from the pool of accepted student applications demonstrating high academic potential.
For more information on the program, check out: https://www.millersville.edu/scienceandmath/supporting-student-success/index.php.
- This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 2130176.
- Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.