O.C. College Benefits from a Trio of Grants to Boost STEM Programs
(Orange) - Santiago Canyon College (SCC) recently got news that it was selected by the U.S. Department of Education to receive $250,000 annually in a five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education for its Upward Bound Math and Science (UBMS) program. The funds will help prepare high school students for post-secondary education programs that lead to careers in the fields of math and science. The program will make it possible for 62 students in Orange Unified School District to participate in a cohort model in which a group of students moves through all classes and phases of the program together.
“Thanks to the funding by the U.S. Department of Education, SCC will enhance its outreach to high school students beginning this fall and for the next five years,” said Juan Vázquez, SCC president. “As our region and nation desperately needs more STEM graduates, we are pleased that our students are now benefiting from a total of three federal grants aimed at boosting the number of students majoring and graduating in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields. These grants complement SCC’s new Science Center and improve our ability to serve students in the STEM fields through innovative curriculum and student support services.”
SCC’s UBMS program will provide the following support services and activities for local students:
- During the school year after school and two Saturdays a month, the grant will provide tutoring; study skills, student leadership, and college planning workshops; academic review sessions; mentoring; a senior seminar; PSAT/SAT/ACT test preparation; STEM professional panels; credit recovery and alternative education options for at-risk students; and academic plan review.
- Instruction in literature, composition, foreign language, math and science will be held two Saturdays a month in SCC’s science and computer labs and classrooms.
- Theme-based instruction will strengthen learning across disciplines and will feature SCC faculty-designed intensive, hands-on science and math activities.
- Financial literacy and college planning workshops will be held in English and Spanish for parents and students on Saturdays.
- A six-week summer program will be offered for four weeks at SCC’s campus and two weeks at Chapman University for a residential experience.
- Students will work in teams on science projects, engage in theme-based instruction related to their projects, and participate in field site experiences.
- Seniors will participate in a summer bridge program that will connect them to their college campuses and involve them in college support networks prior to their enrollment to increase completion.
The SCC UBMS grant is one of three federal STEM grants helping SCC students. One student who has benefited from the extra support afforded by the grants is Orange resident Cynthia Allen. She attends SCC to complete prerequisite courses for entering either a physician assistant or a master’s nursing program. When she was struggling with a chemistry class, she discovered the new STAR (Science Teaching and Resource) Center. There she accessed tutors and faculty directed learning activities. “If I hadn’t spent time at the Center, I couldn’t have passed the class. With their help, I wasn’t as insecure when I took tests and I gained more knowledge,” said Allen.
The college is in the second year of a five-year grant, “Strengthening Transfer Education and Matriculation in STEM” (STEM2), in partnership with California State University, Fullerton. STEM2 focuses on increasing the transfer rates in STEM fields to four-year institutions along with developing a system to increase the number of STEM major students who successfully complete their bachelor’s degrees in four years. Additionally, SCC students are benefiting from a $3.23 million STEM Title V grant now in its third year. The Title V grant helped establish the college’s STAR Center, supplemental instruction for historically challenging math and science courses, and a new engineering degree program.
For more information about SCC STEM programs, contact (714) 628-4800 or visit www.sccollege.edu/STEM.
About Santiago Canyon College
Santiago Canyon College is a public community college of Rancho Santiago Community College District, serving the residents of Anaheim Hills, Orange, Tustin and Villa Park. The college provides education for academic transfer and careers, courses for personal and professional development, and customized training for business and industry.
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