Indiana Space Grant Consortium Wins NASA Office of Education Competitive Opportunity for Partnerships with Community Colleges and Technical Schools 2014-2016
NASA's Office of Education will award more than $17.3 million through the National Space Grant and Fellowship Program to increase student and faculty engagement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) at community colleges and technical schools across the U.S. Each award has a two-year performance period and a maximum value of $500,000. The 35 awards were granted after a solicitation to members of the national Space Grant Consortia. Winning proposals outlined ways to attract and retain more students from community and technical colleges in STEM curricula, develop stronger collaborations to increase student access to NASA's STEM education content, and increase the number of students who advance from an associate to a bachelor's degree.
The INSGC Community College Partnership (INCCP) program represents an unprecedented partnership between the Indiana Space Grant Consortium, Ivy Tech Community College, and Vincennes University. Purdue University Professor Barrett Caldwell heads the Consortium. Both Ivy Tech Community College and Vincennes University operate multiple Indiana campuses with unique strengths tied to local communities and industries. A total of six community college campus sites (four Ivy Tech and two Vincennes) will participate in this partnership, representing a variety of STEM Domain Areas suited to the local Economic and Workforce Emphases of major industry needs of those regions.
Our focus is on a broad conceptualization of student success, including effective recruitment, retention, mentoring, and completion of Associate’s Degrees in STEM fields, while enabling students to make suitable choices between STEM workforce employment and low-risk transfer to four-year STEM university programs,” according to Prof. Caldwell. INCCP will target 10 students per region per year, resulting in at least 60 community college students per year obtaining significant STEM scholarship and workforce development experiences. Although students will be eligible to participate in a second year of activity, it is expected that at least 15 Year 1 participants will transition to a STEM workforce position or transfer to a four-year institution. Those completed students will be replenished with 15 more students recruited during Year 1 for Year 2 activity.