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COC Earns $437,000 Science Grant

National Science Foundation selects COC as recipient.

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The National Science Foundation has awarded College of the Canyons a $437,000 grant to help fund the Transitions Program, which in its first year, will support the recruitment, mentoring and support of 40 students studying biology, chemistry, engineering and mathematics.

“The Transitions Program will provide many deserving students with both the support and enrichment they need to pursue engineering and science careers,” said Susan Crowther, director of the Math, Engineering, Science, Achievement program at the college.

The three-year grant, awarded through the foundation’s S-STEM funding program, will help prepare students for graduation and the transfer process to four-year schools, and in the long run, increase the numbers of diverse, well-educated and skilled employees in these fields.

Students will complete educational plans, develop a student research plan and receive a $3500 scholarship to cover the cost of books, calculators and other academic materials required to complete a math-based course of study.

During their second and third years in the program, students will work with a faculty mentor in their discipline to design and carryout an individual research project, and then present their findings during a research conference.

“When students, especially first generation college students, receive this kind of mentoring from faculty,” said Chair of the college’s engineering department, David Martinez, “they really begin to flourish.”

Students will also explore career options in their chosen field, participate in academic enrichment activities and explore transfer schools with strong programs in their area of study.  

“The Transitions Program will enable students to really ‘try on’ their career choice and see if it fits,” said Gregory Nishiyama, a biology instructor at the college and the leading faculty member behind the new program.

Students who demonstrate financial need and academic promise will be invited to participate in the program.

For more information about the Transitions Program or the college’s science, math and engineering programs, visit the college’s website at www.canyons.edu.