October 11, 2018
Fresno State receives $50,000 collaborative opportunity grant to advance student success
California State University, Fresno was one of eight universities nationwide awarded a grant by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and Coalition of Urban Serving Universities to support student success through community partnerships. The $50,000 award will support expanding a partnership between the University, Fresno Unified School District and the State Center Community College District to build student success in mathematics along the educational pipeline. The grants, known as collaborative opportunity grants, are supported with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and will support the eight universities’ efforts to leverage community partnerships to improve students’ access to, success in and completion of college. “The end goal of this work is to help students to succeed in university math classrooms and become good consumers of the mathematics they learn,” said Dr. Rajee Amarasinghe, chair of the Department of Mathematics. “We are exploring new ways by disrupting silos to connect high school, community college and university math professionals to pool their skills to create high impact math classrooms.”
September 19, 2018
What NSF’s new diversity grants say about attempts to help minority students
Preparing a diverse STEM workforce requires engaging students at all levels. But the first round of Alliance winners is skewed toward higher education, specifically, running from 2-year community colleges through graduate training. In addition to Hodapp’s project, NSF gave $10 million to the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, based in Washington, D.C., and the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. They are pursuing a three-pronged attempt to improve the skills of STEM faculty members at dozens of universities in mentoring minority students, grow the ranks of minority STEM faculty, and promote diversity throughout academia. Another $10 million Alliance award, based at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, California, will help community college students in California and three other states overcome deficits in math as the first step into a STEM major. A fourth $10 million Alliance grant, based at the University of Texas in El Paso, will support expansion of a 12-year-old computing alliance among academic institutions that serve a large number of Hispanic students.