Fairmont State University was awarded a National Science Foundation S-STEM Track 1 program to improve the educational experience of low-income students in the College of Science and Technology (Sci/Tech), specifically the Departments of Computer Science and Mathematics, Natural Sciences, and Engineering Technology. S-STEM program focuses on increasing enrollment, retention, and graduation of academically talented, low-income STEM students through targeted recruitment activities, scholarships, cohort building, networking, and curricular and co-curricular support. This program offers a student-driven support system for S-STEM students and particular attention from peer and faculty mentors through frequent mentor-advisee meetings to enhance the S-STEM students' learning experience and well-being on campus.
The scholarship is available for 18 exceptional students (three cohorts of six students), and is worth up to $6,250 annually to cover unmet financial needs for qualifying students pursuing a four-year B.S. degree in:
Objective 1: Recruit 18 academically talented students who demonstrate financial need to major in the College of Science and Technology with financial support as S-STEM scholars.
Objective 2: Improve retention of S-STEM scholars through curricular and co-curricular activities. We want to retain 88% of scholars (16/18) in the College of Science and Technology from the first to the second year, and graduate at least 72% of scholars (13/18) within four years.
Objective 3: At least 90% of S-STEM scholar graduates should have a job in their field (including graduate school) within one year of graduation. We would like to see at least 25% of scholars find a job through the connections they make in the S-STEM program.
Objective 4: Enhance the S-STEM student learning experience by improving faculty mentoring and advising capabilities through student engagement techniques.
Objective 5: Network with universities, industries, and public schools—especially in Appalachia—to disseminate our challenges and successes.