WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-Merced) said $2.8 million in federal grants has been awarded by the U.S. Department of Education under the Hispanic-Serving Institutions STEM Program to four Central Valley colleges and universities to increase their capacity to serve Hispanic and low-income students.
The funding will support programs at Merced College, California State University Stanislaus, San Joaquin Delta Community College and Modesto Junior College that will increase enrollment and degree completion by Hispanic and low-income students in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) disciplines.
Merced College California State University Stanislaus (CSUS) and San Joaquin Delta Community College were awarded a coalition grant totaling $1.1 million. CSUS will act as the lead institution in this cooperative arrangement, working with Merced College and San Joaquin Delta College to increase the successful enrollment, retention and graduation of Hispanic and low-income students in STEM fields, according to a news release from the congressman’s office.
Modesto Junior College was awarded a $869,592 grant to create and implement the STEM Learning Connections Project. San Joaquin Delta Community College, which serves many of Cardoza’s constituents, was also awarded a $831,763 grant to establish the Delta STEM Academy. Both programs are aimed at increasing the number of Hispanic and low-income students in STEM programs and boosting the number who ultimately transfer to four-year institutions to complete their degrees in these fields, the news release said.
The colleges will use the funding to provide tutoring and other support services and create modern learning environments that use up-to-date technology to assist students as they pursue STEM certificate and degree programs. All the grants are for the 2011/2012 school year, and are renewable for up to five years total.Sun-Star staff