East Los Angeles College, STEM Department, awarded $1.6 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to help veteran students earn STEM degrees
Monterey Park, Calif. – East Los Angeles College (ELAC), through its nationally recognized STEM Department, received official notice from the National Science Foundation (NSF) that is has been awarded a five-year $1.6 million grant to help veteran students complete STEM degrees and transfer to four-year colleges and universities. Partnering with UCLA’s Department of Bioengineering and working with ELAC’s Veterans Resource Center and other student support services departments, the NSF grant will provide much needed academic and support services for U.S. armed forces veterans who have re-entered civilian life and are pursuing a STEM degree.
The SERVES project (Success, Engagement, & Retention of Veterans in Engineering and Science) will provide 150 participating veterans with the advanced skills required for careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). As a model partnership between a community college and a research university, the participating institutions (ELAC and UCLA), will offer a continuum of classroom performance, research internships, and counseling targeting STEM veteran students from ethnic and racial minorities. The unique strengths, training, and expertise of veterans, together with incentives offered by the Post 9/11 GI bill, present an historic opportunity to increase participation of former servicemen and women in STEM education.
“East Los Angeles College and its STEM Department thanks NSF and all the people and organizations who worked on this grant and for their commitment to improving the lives of our veteran students; furthermore, I want to thank ELAC President Marvin Martinez for supporting and encouraging the team to explore ways to address challenges of transitioning veterans into civilian STEM careers,” said Dr. Rivera-Figueroa, Dean of STEM.
A primary intent of the SERVES project is to implement and test a best practices model for student engagement that can benefit veterans participating in all 33 Mathematics, Engineering, and Science Achievement (MESA) programs throughout the California Community Colleges system (ELAC is one of the 33 programs).
For more information about East Los Angeles College’s STEM programs, go to stem.elac.edu.