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 colleges and universities in California's Central Valley 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, CSUS and Delta College were awarded a coalition grant totaling $1.1 million. CSUS will act as the lead institution in the cooperative arrangement, working with Merced College and Delta to increase the successful enrollment, retention and graduation of Latino and low-income students in STEM fields, according to a news release from the congressman's office.
MJC was awarded an $869,592 grant to create and implement the STEM Learning Connections Project. Delta, which serves many of Cardoza's constituents, was awarded an $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 2011-12 school year, and are renewable for up to five years total.
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