U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-Md.) today announced the Baltimore City Community College (BCCC) has been awarded nearly $600,000 in grant funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to recruit and prepare minority college students for careers in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce. As Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science, Senator Mikulski puts money in the federal checkbook for the National Science Foundation each year.
"Our nation's economic future depends on ensuring that our college students have the training and skill to get jobs in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields," said Senator Cardin. "This NSF grant will ensure that BCCC students have the opportunity to learn the skills that will be demanded of jobs in the future so our country can maintain its competitive edge in the 21st Century."
"Education is the opportunity ladder of this nation and higher education is a critical rung in that ladder," said Senator Mikulski, Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science, which funds the NSF. "STEM graduates are in demand to fill the jobs of today and the jobs of tomorrow. Every student, regardless of background, deserves a chance to excel in those fields. Maryland has the resources and the infrastructure to guarantee students a rich experience, not to mention job prospects. I am so proud of BCCC's leadership in preparing today's students for tomorrow's careers."
The NSF grant will provide 126 scholarships over a 5-year period for academically-talented, financially-needy students in Engineering, Computer Information Systems, Computer Aided Design and Drafting, and Robotics Technology while targeting key areas for academic and professional success. The program has a mathematics-centered advising program and workshops that improve mathematics skills. It also builds on strong student support services at BCCC while offering lectures from established speakers in the field, peer tutoring, field trips, innovative mathematics workshops, access to engineering and technology competitions while encouraging families to get involved with their children's education. The program also supports students in their professional aspirations. Several workshops in professional development enhance the long-term professional benefit to the students. The grant is a part of NSF's dedication to recruiting, retaining, educating, and training underrepresented students in STEM fields, and preparing them for success in the STEM workforce.
The grant is awarded under the National Science Foundation's Division of Undergraduate Education, a national program that promotes excellence in undergraduate STEM education for all students by providing leadership, developing supportive curriculum, preparing the workforce and fostering academic and professional connection.