FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dec. 18, 2015
DURHAM, N.C. – North Carolina Central University (NCCU) has received a three-year grant totaling $750,000 from the U.S. Department of Education’s Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program.
NCCU was among 13 minority-serving institutions across the nation to receive the grant out of 152 that applied for the funding aimed at strengthening education programs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
The grant will assist in development of pre-college enrichment activities in science; tutoring and enhancement of research skills for college students in science; faculty training to develop specific science research and education skills; curriculum development in STEM; renovation of STEM labs/classrooms; and other activities that reduce barriers for minorities entering STEM fields.
“This award will assist in advancing our STEM education offerings; STEM is a growing career field and we recognize its importance,” said Caesar Jackson, Ph.D., principal grant investigator and NCCU mathematics and physics professor. “NCCU is excited to implement new STEM education initiatives that will increase our status as a premier institute of higher education.”
With the award, NCCU will initiate “From Learning Engagement to Self-Directed Learning in STEM,” a program will engage students through research-based and evidence-based strategies and give them process skills, research experiences and the knowledge needed to pursue STEM-related careers.
Techniques and approaches to science and engineering education at NCCU will be enhanced by infusing active-learning in introductory physics and chemistry courses; employing the Colorado Learning Assistant Model to enhance teaching and learning in gate-keeping lecture courses in STEM; and implementing guided inquiry-based instruction in the corresponding laboratory courses. Other parts of the initiative will implement problem-based learning for sophomore-level STEM courses, provide undergraduate researchers with professional development training following the Affinity Research Group Model, and provide STEM students with more undergraduate research experiences.
According to a National Student Clearinghouse report, the prevalence of STEM degrees has increased between 2004 and 2014 at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels.
“Strengthening these institutions that serve large minority populations in STEM is vital to building a strong economy and competitive workforce, while helping ensure that all students have the opportunity to be successful in college, careers and life,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “These grants will help ensure that students, particularly our underrepresented and minority students, are well-prepared for the 21st century global marketplace and on the path to a successful future in a STEM field.”
The Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program assists predominantly minority institutions in making long-range improvements in science and engineering education programs and increasing the flow of underrepresented ethnic minorities, particularly minority women, into science and engineering careers.
North Carolina Central University is the Tom Joyner Foundation’s January 2016 School Of The Month. NCCU prepares students to succeed in the global marketplace. Flagship programs include the sciences, technology, nursing, education, law, business and the arts. Founded in 1910 as a liberal arts college for African-Americans, NCCU remains committed to diversity in higher education. Our alumni excel in a wide variety of academic and professional fields. If you would like to make a donation to North Carolina Central University Visit http://tomjoynerfoundation.org/donate/