Chemeketa Community College has been awarded a $152,236 grant from the Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Council (HECC) to increase the number of women and under-represented students of color earning a degree or certificate in a STEM field. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Increasing the quantity and quality of professionals in STEM fields is an important national and regional priority.
The target audience for the grant activity will be new or admitted students who are female or students of color intending to enroll in a computer science, engineering or high-tech manufacturing program at Chemeketa. Enrollment in those programs does not reflect the college as a whole. Only 9% of Chemeketa students in those fields are women and 22% are minorities. Total full-time enrollment at Chemeketa in fall of 2015 was 53.8% female and 34.6% ethnic or racial minorities.
Grant funded activities are expected to include –
- One-on-one advising and mentoring
- Strategic tutoring
- Opportunities for presentations and recognition
- Career planning
- Consistent tracking of student progress to allow for early intervention
The grant will also fund a two-day STEM event to recruit new students. The event will provide a platform for current students to partner with faculty in presentations and workshops for potential students. Participants will work in a robotics lab where they will build a functioning robot, create a 3-D print and explore how to develop their own smartphone application. The date of the event has not yet been determined.