Sacramento City College early next year will try to boost the number of Hispanic and low-income students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs over the ensuing four years, using a $3.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education.
Hispanic and low-income students have historically been underrepresented in STEM fields. The college will form the STEM Equity and Success Initiative and by February or March plans to enroll about 60 students for fall 2017.
The goal is to use the five-year grant to launch and then continue the program, enable more students to earn associate-level degrees in STEM majors and then transfer to four-year colleges in STEM fields.
Sacramento City College officials said the program will include a summer transition program, proactive counseling, individualized education plans and links to peer mentors.
“We know that degrees and careers in science-related fields can provide financial and career stability for many people,” said Jim Collins, project director and the college’s dean of science and allied health, in a release. “Now we have a mechanism to reach even more of them.”
More than 25 percent of the college’s student body self-identify as Hispanic/Latino. Last year, the school received a $2.7 million grant available to Hispanic Serving Institutions to develop a program known as “Students in a Global Economy,” which helps Hispanic/Latino and low-income students transition from high school to college.