Twelve students majoring in computer science/computer technology with program emphases in areas such as homeland security and information security at California State University, Dominguez Hills are receiving close to $8,000 each for tuition, fees, and books for the year. STEM Advantage, a newly formed nonprofit selected CSU Dominguez Hills as its inaugural partner to pilot their scholarship program, which also includes paid internships and ongoing mentoring by professions in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.
“Women, African Americans, and Latinos today comprise only one-fifth of the STEM workforce and yet they are project to make up over two-thirds of the total workforce by 2017,” said Willie J. Hagan, president of CSU Dominguez Hills. “Further, projections suggest that STEM-related employment opportunities will continue to grow over the next 10 years with more than 60 percent of those jobs requiring a college degree or higher. CSUDH has a strong history of commitment to STEM education, and I am personally grateful for the investment STEM Advantage is making to our students so that as graduates, our alums will be able to meet the STEM workforce needs of our community.”
The STEM Advantage program address three critical areas toward student success: financial, experiential and network support. Each student receives a scholarship that covers their academic expenses for the year, enabling them to focus more on their studies and not worry about debt. Additionally, STEM Advantage scholars gain real world experience and the opportunity to develop their skills via paid internships in the IT departments of such prominent companies as DirecTV, Toyota, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Cognizant, and Hispanic Scholarship Fund. As importantly, they are also paired with STEM professionals who, throughout the year, will provide the students with guidance on their education and career options, as well as life coaching.
“STEM Advantage will provide an educational continuum for underrepresented populations to earn a bachelor’s degree in a STEM discipline,” said Lee Ann Kline, president and founder of STEM Advantage. “We are hopeful that our 360-degree approach, addressing the financial barriers, providing mentoring, and targeted work experience, will help to ensure the success of these scholars in their chosen STEM fields.”
For more information on STEM Advantage, visit www.stemadvantage.org.