California State University, Dominguez Hills’ (CSUDH) has received a $5.85 million Hispanic-Serving Institutions Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (HSI-STEM) grant, among the highest allocation offered by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to help institutions articulate and graduate more under-served students into STEM fields.
HSI-STEM grants are awarded to help increase the number of Hispanic and under-represented students attaining degrees in STEM fields, and to develop “model transfer and articulation agreements” between colleges and universities offering degrees in such fields.
The five-year, $1.17 million grant was awarded to CSUDH’s Center for Innovation in STEM Education (CISE). The funding will significantly increase the reach of CISE’s already extensive STEM programs, with a focus on the university’s current under-served students, and those transferring from community colleges.
“I am extremely excited about the grant because it will allow us to achieve our ambitious goals, such as transforming undergraduate STEM education at CSUDH, community colleges, and K-12 schools to provide high quality STEM teaching and learning,” said Kamal Hamdan, Annenberg Endowed Professor and director of CISE.
To achieve its goals, CISE will also use the ED grant to better retain new first- and second-year STEM students, help improve transfer practices between CSUDH and community colleges, increase the use of high-impact practices by STEM faculty, and help more students pass gateway and bottleneck courses.
CISE’s success in securing funding to help the under-served communities was underscored in September 2016 when its CSI3 program was awarded $2.5 million in contracts by Compton Unified School District to develop mathematics tutoring and teacher development programs in the district.
“Increasing the number of Hispanics and under-served students in STEM majors and then careers is critically important for the United States’ current and future workforce,” notes Hamdan. “The Hispanic student population is increasing in California and other states, however, this increase is not consistent with the increase in the number of Hispanic students majoring in STEM. Thus CSUDH and other institutes of higher education have an obligation to transform their undergraduate STEM education programs to increase retention and graduation rates.”