California State University, Los Angeles has been awarded a $464,977 grant from the National Science Foundation to help develop a diverse workforce in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
“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,” said Emily Allen, dean of Cal State LA’s College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology.
The three-year NSF award will be used to expand Cal State LA’s first-year experience program for undergraduate students in the College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology.
“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 Allen, who is the grant’s principal investigator.
The program will promote student success, using student cohorts and offering peer-assisted mathematics supplementary instruction with hands-on labs. A faculty mentor will also be provided throughout the students first year.
Math, physics and engineering will be integrated in an elemental way that will strengthen students’ commitment and interest in the rest of their studies.
A recent NSF report highlighted the need for the U.S. to increase efforts to educate groups that “are not being sufficiently tapped for the STEM workforce, particularly African Americans, American Indians, Hispanics, women, and persons with disabilities.”
The NSF has identified Cal State LA as a national leader for its success in graduating Latino students who go on to earn the Ph.D. in STEM.
“Our students are changing the face of STEM professions across the nation,” said Cal State LA President William A. Covino. “We look forward to continued success.”
The program, which is known as FYrE@ECST, is part of an initiative of the California State University system to help meet the nation’s need for one million more STEM professionals during the next decade. The program 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.
Other faculty members from the College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology involved in the program include Zilong Ye, Mark Tufenkjian, Gustavo Menezes, and Paul Nerenberg.