Indiana University Northwest will be focusing on graduating more students with degrees in STEM or science, technology, engineering and math fields.
IUN was awarded a $5 million grant from the Hispanic Serving Institution Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and Articulation Program at the U.S. Department of Education. The goal of the grant is to increase the number of Northwest Indiana students graduating with bachelor’s degrees in STEM fields, with a focus on Hispanic and low-income students.
“This grant is a testament to IU Northwest’s leadership in creating opportunities for the people of Northwest Indiana,” said Chancellor Ken Iwama. “Establishing a center of excellence for STEM education is an ambitious goal and this grant brings us closer to realizing this game-changing community asset.”
The award will be distributed to IU Northwest at $1 million per year for the next five years, college officials said.
The program, funded by the grant, is called TRIUNFOS (Transforming IU Northwest for Opportunities in STEM), which translates to “triumphs” in English. It includes four strategic components:
- Curriculum redesign and faculty development, including research experiences beginning as early as students’ first year of college through a project-based STEM Summer Bridge and a First-Year Experience class in scientific research.
- Wrap-around academic and student support services for STEM, including student employment opportunities, peer mentoring, STEM-specific transfer coaching and academic advising.
- New and enhanced high school, community, and employer partnerships, including increased outreach to high schools in Gary and across the region, and collaboration with Ivy Tech to develop the advantages afforded by a shared campus.
- Infrastructure enhancement, including the creation of a new STEM Resource Center serving IU Northwest and Ivy Tech students.
IU Northwest was eligible to apply for the grant because of its designation as an HSI by the DOE. IU Northwest’s student body is 26% Hispanic and 17% African American.
“With our emphasis on increasing our partnerships with local four-year colleges and universities, Ivy Tech’s Lake County campus is a natural ally and partner in this endeavor,” said Louie Gonzalez, chancellor of Ivy Tech Community College’s Lake County campus. “As the area’s local community college, we serve as the entry point for many Hispanic and low-income students (and our hope is) the result will be a steady flow of students to Ivy Tech and eventually to IU Northwest.”
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