Miami, May 1, 2018 – Miami Dade College (MDC) will receive more than $1 million from The National Science Foundation (NSF) to fund Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and technical education programs that will assist in closing the existing skills gap in STEM fields. It will also provide a means for traditionally underrepresented populations to enter the industry in high demand, high wage positions.
“We are excited to launch this program to serve minority students in underserved communities in Miami-Dade County,” said Dr. Malou Harrison, President of MDC North and InterAmerican campuses. “We are especially glad these grants will support the college’s mission to develop a K – 16 workforce pipeline.”
The NSF will award $965,817 to STEM-Mia (or “My STEM” in Spanish) a five-year project that will solidify the efforts of several STEM students at the campus by providing scholarships using a variety of research documented support strategies shown to promote the success of academically talented, low-income STEM students’ retention, graduation, and transfer to four-year colleges/universities.
The project will also provide faculty mentoring, one-credit STEM support and transfer courses, field trips, summer research experiences, presentations by industry professionals, research presentations, and other activities. The STEM disciplines include biological sciences (except medicine and other clinical fields) and computer science.
NSF also awarded $213,714 to support three years of funding for the implementation of the Dade Enterprise Cloud Computing Initiative (DECCI). The efforts of DECCI is particularly relevant to Miami Dade County as it leverages industry partnerships such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) to strengthen academic offerings that will lead to not only an academic credential, but also an industry certification, and ultimately employment; the goal of most students seeking higher education.
The refinement, coordination, evaluation, and documentation of DECCI will benefit institutions nationwide that are committed to advancing underrepresented student success in technology disciplines. DECCI will work to recruit and retain at least 25 students to complete the newly developed Enterprise Cloud Computing program. It will also develop and implement a professional development program that will train 15 MDC technology faculty members to teach cloud computing courses utilizing project-based learning methodology.
NSF awarded $225,000 for Cybersecurity Opportunities and Methods that Promote Access and Student Success (COMPASS) program, whose goal is to increase the number of underrepresented minorities entering the cybersecurity workforce. First time college and non-traditional students from diverse populations will be provided increased opportunities for affordable access to a state approved one-year college credit certificate or a two-year Associate in Science degree in cybersecurity.