National Science Foundation renews Central Piedmont, partner colleges $1.5-million grant

last modified Jul 26, 2018 12:25 PM

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has renewed a $1.5-million grant to Central Piedmont Community College and two partner colleges to help the institutions continue to provide programs that boost the number of under-represented minority students pursuing associate and baccalaureate degrees in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subject areas.

Since initially being awarded the grant in 2015, Central Piedmont has led the North Carolina STEM Alliance (NCSA). With partners Forsyth Technical Community College (FTCC) and Guilford Technical Community College (GTCC), the NCSA seeks to increase the number of community college participants in STEM-focused undergraduate research experiences in order to strengthen pathways for high school students who transition to community college associate-degree STEM programs and guide community college students toward continuing their studies in bachelor-degree STEM programs. Over the past three years, North Carolina STEM Alliance colleges increased the number of under-represented minority STEM students, who transfer to universities by nearly 50 percent.

The grant provides funding for STEM-focused mentoring, STEM-focused high school bridge efforts, undergraduate research experiences, career-centered and proactive academic advising and financial support.

“These grant monies will help us continue to increase the number of students from historically underrepresented minority populations who are interested in completing high quality degree programs in STEM,” said Bruce Johnson, Central Piedmont associate dean of STEM. “This is critical to the economic health of the nation. If we can increase the number of people who are knowledgeable in these fields, we can not only strengthen the local workforce, but also contribute to the county’s economic competitiveness in North Carolina.”

Central Piedmont offers several programs of study and courses within its STEM division. These include:

Science: Biology, Astronomy, Chemistry, Geography, Geology, Physical Science, Physics.

Technology: Computer Science, Computer Technology Integration, Computer Programming, Database Management, Digital Forensics, Information Systems Security, Network Technologies, Web Technologies.

Engineering: Civil Engineering Technology, Surveying Technology, Computer Engineering Technology, Electrical Engineering Technology, Electronics Engineering Technology, Machining Technology, Mechanical Engineering Technology, Mechatronics Engineering Technology, and calculus-based engineering transfer programs.

Mathematics: Developmental Studies, Algebra, Trigonometry, Statistics, Calculus, Differential Equations

The new grant period runs through June 30, 2021.

For more information about STEM programs of study at Central Piedmont and STEM career fields, see www.cpcc.edu/stem, or contact Bruce Johnson at Bruce.Johnson@cpcc.edu or 704.330.6073, or Chris Paynter, Central Piedmont dean of STEM, at Chris.Paynter@cpcc.edu or 704.330.6531.