College Wins $2.7 Million STEM Grant

A student gazes into a microscope Supporting Hispanic and low-income science students

Saint Mary's efforts to provide inclusive education to all students have again been rewarded: The College has received a $2.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education that it will use to support its new initiative, Caminos a Las Ciencias, a program designed to expand the curriculum and resources offered to Hispanic and low-income students, and to help those students enrolled in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) degree programs.

Funded through the federal Office of Postsecondary Education, the five-year Hispanic Serving Institutions Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics grant promotes the efforts of U.S. colleges and universities to expand access to higher education. The award will strengthen the Caminos program—which includes a partnership with two-year community college Los Medanos in Pittsburg—and boost the success of Hispanic and low-income students in STEM fields, according to School of Science Dean Roy Wensley.

"These are populations that are underrepresented in the STEM workforce, and that has to change," Wensley said. "This grant will help us do that by funding key student services, faculty, and curriculum development."

Saint Mary’s has also been an eligible Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution since 2015, which means the College can apply for the next round of grants in 2021.