GPC awarded $598,000 grant from the National Science Foundation

09/08/2011
Contact: Roger Barnes
Phone: 678-891-2693
Fax: 678-891-2966
Author: Roger Barnes

The National Science Foundation has awarded Georgia Perimeter College a five-year, $598,000 Educate and Nurture Leadership in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (ENLISTEM) grant. 

The ENLISTEM grant will provide 32 GPC students, who pursue degrees in engineering, computer science, biology, math, chemistry, physics or geology, scholarships of $2,000 to $5,000 per year. The scholarships are based on each student’s needs after other financial aid has been exhausted. The grant also provides support services for these students. 

“The goal is to remove financial barriers to student success and provide support,” said Marjorie Lewkowicz, GPC math professor. “For example, as freshmen, participants will receive ongoing intensive advisement and will meet with a faculty mentor on a bi-weekly basis. During the sophomore year, the focus will be on transfer advising. A major objective of the ENLISTEM program is to ensure that participants transfer to a four-year institution to continue on to a baccalaureate degree once they graduate from GPC.” 

National interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics education is spurred by reports from the National Science Foundation pointing to a shortage of U.S. students completing STEM-related degrees. GPC is aggressively positioned as a frontrunner in reversing this trend in Georgia. The ENLISTEM grant is the second grant GPC has secured this year to aid in the retention and advancement of students seeking STEM-related majors. 

Earlier, GPC was awarded a one-year $310,000 grant from the University System of Georgia. The USG grant helps fund GPC’s Math, Engineering, Science, Achievement club and also provides mini-grants that instructors can use to fund special classroom projects. This grant also allows GPC to hire an executive-level administrator to coordinate all the college’s STEM initiatives. 

“These two STEM grants, from the National Science Foundation and the University System of Georgia, help make Georgia Perimeter College a first-choice college for students seeking careers in the sciences and technology,” said GPC President Dr. Anthony S. Tricoli. “We’re the top transfer institution in the USG with Transfer Admission Guarantees to more than 40 four-year colleges and universities in Georgia and beyond. 

“The ENLISTEM grant lets qualified students know can come to GPC and find the scholarship money and the support resources they will need to prepare them to move on and complete bachelor’s and master’s degrees at other institutions,” Tricoli said. “The emphasis of the ENLISTEM grant is on student support. That should tell students that GPC will get them ready to move on.” 

According to Lewkowicz, ENLISTEM provides several layers of academic support and monitoring for STEM students. 

“ENLISTEM students are required to sign a Transfer Admissions Guarantee agreement and attend the annual career and transfer fairs,” Lewkowicz adds. “The ENLISTEM project will provide mentoring, counseling, and tutoring for all participants. Each month, participants will be required to attend STEM seminars and academic excellence workshops that enable students to be involved in intellectual discussions on research developments with scholars and leaders in STEM fields. All activities will require scholarship participants to meet afterward to reflect on their experiences.” 

The grant also requires Georgia Perimeter to increase outreach and recruitment of STEM students. 

“The plan for recruiting participants includes outreach efforts into local non-profit agencies with an educational component like The Boys and Girls Club and outreach to high schools,” Lewkowicz said.

-# # # -
Georgia Perimeter College, the third largest institution of the University System of Georgia, serves more than 25,000 students through four campuses and several sites in metro Atlanta. For additional information, visit www.gpc.edu.