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MWCC Receives $640,000 National Science Foundation Grant for STEM Students

Mount Wachusett Community College has received a five-year, $640,000 grant from the National Science Foundation for students in STEM fields. The grant will provide scholarships and support services to 150 full-time students in science, technology, engineering and math programs.

The goal of the scholarship program is to provide a supportive academic environment that will ensure STEM students graduate within two to three years with an associate degree and to promote student transfers to a four-year STEM program after graduating from MWCC. The college will recruit 30 students each year into four STEM majors: biotechnology; computer information systems; pre-engineering and natural resources.

Participating students will become members of the program STEM SET (Students Embracing Talent) and will be eligible for faculty mentoring, professional and peer tutoring and monthly enrichment building activities including field trips, guest speakers and small study groups. Scholarships will be granted based on financial need and academic standing. Recipients have the potential to receive up to $3,300 as they complete their associate degrees.

“This National Science Foundation grant will provide our students with an incredible opportunity to make significant advancement in the STEM fields and correlates with the Commonwealth’s goal of increasing STEM education, jobs and workforce development,” said MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino.

“This major NSF grant will enable our students to join a competitive cohort of future scientists and will also position the college to further advance the state’s STEM initiatives,” said Janice Barney, dean of MWCC’s School of Business, Science, Technology and Math.

Last fall, Governor Deval Patrick and state officials announced MWCC will receive $37.9 million in capital funds for a new science and technology building and renovations at the Gardner campus. The 39,000-square-foot addition will provide upgrades to classrooms and laboratories that support the college’s science and health care programs. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2014 and be completed in fall 2015.

This is the largest NSF grant that MWCC has received to date. Representatives from academic affairs, financial aid, access and transition, admissions, academic support, and student services will work collaboratively as an advisory committee for the grant.

Admissions applications are being accepted this summer for the fall semester. New and current students are eligible for the scholarships.For more information, contact the Admissions Office at 978-630-9110.

 -Stephanie Nebes