NSF announces first research awards under Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program

Credit: Northeastern Illinois University

The National Science Foundation's (NSF) Improving Undergraduate STEM Education: Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program (HSI Program) today issued its first research awards for 31 projects totaling approximately $45 million.

Hispanics constitute 16 percent of the U.S. workforce, but they make up only 6 percent of the U.S. science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce. More than 60 percent of Hispanic students attend an HSI. NSF's HSI Program invests in projects that build capacity and increase retention and graduation rates for STEM students at HSIs. It also aims to build capacity at HSIs with little or no prior NSF funding.

"NSF has a long history of funding individual researchers and projects at HSIs," said Jim Lewis, acting NSF assistant director for Education and Human Resources. "This new program seeks to support growth at HSIs that have traditionally lacked federal resources, to assure that they can encourage the development of scientists and engineers."

Congress directed NSF to award grants to Hispanic-Serving Institutions. As a result, NSF built on decades of collaborative work with the broader community as well as lawmakers to find ways to improve the quality of undergraduate STEM education at HSIs.

"In designing the HSI Program, NSF sought input from various stakeholders. We funded conferences and conducted listening sessions with students, faculty, deans, and heads of professional organizations. We also received advice from 16 HSI campus leaders representing diverse geographic regions, public and private institutions and large and small schools," Lewis said. "This valuable input helped us develop a robust program that aligns with NSF's commitment to increase access, particularly for groups traditionally underrepresented in STEM."

Of the initial 31 projects, NSF issued awards to five community colleges and three universities that have received little to no previous NSF funding. In addition, a five-year grant will fund an HSI Resource Hub at New Mexico State University, in collaboration with Dona Ana Community College and California State University-Northridge. The HSI Resource Hub aims to reach HSIs across the nation to build partnerships that will support STEM education, increase STEM research and education capacity at HSIs, and encourage implementation of cutting-edge training in STEM education.

The 2018 awards and recipient institutions are listed below.

  • Advancing Student Success in Undergraduate Engineering and Computer Science, California State University-Fullerton
  • Polytechnic for All: STEM Undergraduate Success via an Inclusive Institution, California State Polytechnic University-Pomona
  • STEM Faculty Professional Learning in the Zone of Proximal Development, California State University, Sacramento
  • Collaboration for Inclusive and Engaging Curriculum, Instruction, and Achievement, California State University, Stanislaus
  • City College of New York STEM Communities, The City College of New York
  • Enhancing Undergraduate STEM Education by Enhancing Transfer Success, New York City College of Technology
  • The Dominican University STEM Success Model to Support Students through Critical Transitions, Dominican University
  • Catalyzing Change in Calculus, Florida International University
  • Engaging Stem Transformative Experiences for Early Momentum, Hartnell College
  • A Faculty Development Program to Increase Students' Quantitative Reasoning Skills, Lehman College
  • An Intervention to Improve Success of Biology Major in Mathematics, Los Angeles Mission College
  • STEM Student Success from Two-year to Four-year Institutions through Classroom-based Undergraduate Research Experiences, Miami Dade College
  • Building Capacity of Women in STEM, Mount Saint Mary's University
  • Using Ocean Plastic Research to Increase Student Engagement and Persistence in Biology, National University
  • The NSF National Resource Hub for STEM Education at Hispanic-Serving Institutions, New Mexico State University and California State University, Northridge
  • Addressing Critical Transitions of First-Year STEM Students, Northeastern Illinois University
  • Integrating Research, Mentoring, and Industry Collaborations to Improve STEM Recruitment and Retention, Phoenix College
  • Los Futuros de STEM (STEM Futures): Building Student Success in STEM, Pueblo Community College
  • Guiding Critical Transitions to the Baccalaureate, Riverside City College
  • Institute for Interdisciplinary Science: Preparing Students for the 4th Industrial Revolution, Saint Edward's University
  • STEM Transformative Experiences Project, Saint Peter's University
  • Positive Learning Opportunities and Research Experiences to Promote Success in STEM, Saint Xavier University
  • Undergraduate STEM Transitions, Experiences, and Mobility, San Diego State University
  • Retain and Increase Hispanic Students in Computing, Texas A&M University-San Antonio
  • Transforming Undergraduate Education in STEM Through Culturally Relevant Pedagogy and Community Engagement, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
  • Infusing Research as Pedagogy, Union County College
  • Improving the Undergraduate Chemistry Experience by Green Chemistry, Active-learning, and Peer-led Experiences, University of California-Merced
  • Integrated Interventions to Improve Undergraduate Student Success in STEM, University of Houston
  • A Collaborative Undergraduate STEM Program in Resilient and Sustainable Infrastructure, University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez and University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras
  • Transforming STEM Undergraduate Education through Academic Literacy, Mentoring, and Professional Development, University of Texas at San Antonio
  • Building Bridges into Engineering and Computer Science, Wilbur Wright College


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