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Virginia Union Awarded $1.75 Million Science Grant

10/25/2012

Virginia Union Awarded $1.75 Million Science Grant

 (Richmond, VA) -  The National Science Foundation has awarded Virginia Union University’s School of Math, Science, and Technology a $1.75 million grant to increase recruitment, retention, and graduation rates in STEM programs.  STEM programs include students majoring in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. 

During the five-year grant period, Virginia Union will establish a STEM summer institute for high school students, as well as implement high impact educational strategies.  “Research has identified successful practices in terms of retention, including global learning, undergraduate research, learning communities, and writing intensive courses,” said Dr. Hendricus van Antwerpen, Chair of the Department of Natural Sciences at Virginia Union.

Van Antwerpen says the University was awarded the grant because plans to hire a STEM Coaching Team were considered extremely innovative.  “These coaches are not teaching; they are hired full time to coach our students,” according to Van Antwerpen.  The University will hire two STEM coaches, one for biology and chemistry, and the other for mathematics and computer information.  The coaches will develop career-oriented assignments to help students select a career in the STEM disciplines.  They will organize departmental seminars, help students search for internships, and prepare individualized success plans for the students.

Virginia Union’s STEM coaches will also interact with high school students in an effort to increase interest in careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

 

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