National Science Foundation awards FAMU $2M grant to enhance student success in STEM
By Kanya Stewart, Faculty News Research Stem, students
Florida A&M University (FAMU) has been awarded a four-year, $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP) to help broaden the participation of minority graduates in the nation’s science and technology workforce.
The grant, which was effective June 1, supports FAMU’s HBCU-UP project titled “Science Community of Active Learners to Enhance Achievement and Retention.” The program is designed to significantly increase student success rates in FAMU’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) degree programs.
Key areas of focus include:
- Improving the academic preparedness of freshman STEM students, so they are better equipped for the rigor of upper-division STEM major courses, graduate school and the global marketplace
- Increasing the retention, persistence and graduation rates of STEM students
- Increasing the number of students at the University pursuing STEM degrees
- Providing professional development opportunities for STEM faculty to study best teaching practices
Maurice Edington, Ph.D., vice president for Strategic Planning, Analysis and Institutional Effectiveness, serves as the principal investigator for the project. FAMU professors Lewis Johnson, Ph.D., Desmond Stephens, Ph.D., and Paulette Reneau, Ph.D., join him as co-investigators.
“I am tremendously excited about this program, which will support FAMU’s ongoing efforts to increase retention and graduation rates and enhance degree production in high-demand areas,” Edington said. “The grant also aligns with several of the priorities outlined in the new University strategic plan, which focuses heavily on providing exceptional student experiences and supporting faculty excellence.”
The grant marks the second NSF HBCU-UP award for Edington and his team. They are completing a four-year, $1.6 million award that was received in 2013 for a project entitled “Student Centered Active-Learning and Assessment Reform.”