MDC’s Homestead Campus Receives Its First National Science Foundation Grant

MIAMI, Dec. 20, 2018 – Miami Dade College’s (MDC) Homestead Campus has been awarded a $822,379 grant by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to implement Step 2 STEM, a five-year project that will extend from 2019-2023.  The project aims to conduct a study of student perceptions and learning incentives, and boost the success of 60 low-income, academically-talented scholars in STEM majors. For the latter, funds will be awarded annually, from 2019-2021, to groups of 20 students registered for the academic Fall Semester.

The project’s research study will address key issues affecting low-income students in STEM career pathways including maintaining motivation, the effect of their social, financial and academic environments and ways the college can intervene to assist participants who live in farming communities and high crime rate neighborhoods, among others.

Divided in three phases – step in, step up and step out – Step 2 STEM involves a series of activities and assessments to monitor the attitudes and motivations of students with the objective to gather information that helps the college find ways to retain at least 80 percent as they transition into their second year, and to encourage another 60 percent to earn associate degrees in STEM careers with the aim to transfer to a four-year institution within 2.5 years of entering the program.

It is expected throughout the program implementation that a wealth of information on student mindsets, perceptions and learning incentives becomes available and will allow MDC’s Homestead Campus to provide strategies and pedagogical innovations to capture the attention of incoming students.

Jobs in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields are projected to grow at almost double the rate of non-STEM occupations. Colleges like MDC are playing a huge role in working to meet this demand. More than half of all STEM jobs across the United States require no more than an associate degree and pay wages that average more than $50,000 annually.

About Miami Dade College

Miami Dade College is the nation’s largest, campus-based institution of higher education with an undergraduate enrollment of 165,000 students. It is also the nation’s top producer of Associate in Arts and Science degrees and awards more degrees to minorities than any other college or university in the country. The college’s eight campuses offer more than 300 distinct degree pathways including several baccalaureate degrees in biological sciences, engineering, data analytics, information systems technology, education, public safety, supervision and management, nursing, physician assistant studies, film and others.  MDC is the recipient of top national awards. As Democracy’s College, MDC changes lives through accessible, high quality-teaching and learning experiences.  It houses the Miami Culinary Institute, the Miami Animation & Gaming International Complex, the Miami Fashion Institute, the Eig-Watson School of Aviation, the Idea Center, the School for Advanced Studies, the New World School of the Arts, to name a few.  MDC has been named among the nation’s “Great Colleges to Work For” by The Chronicle of Higher Education.  The College embraces its responsibility to serve as an economic, cultural, and civic leader for the advancement of our diverse global community. Its alumni and employees contribute more than $6 billion annually to the local economy, and MDC graduates occupy top leadership positions in every major industry.   MDC is renowned for its rich cultural programming. It is home of the Miami Book Fair, Miami Film Festival, the MDC Live! Performing Arts Series, the National Historic Landmark Miami Freedom Tower, the Tower Theater, Dyer Building, Koubek Center Mansion and Gardens, the Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Florida Moving Image Archives, a sculpture park and a large art gallery system.  MDC has admitted more than 2,000,000 students and counting, since it opened its doors in 1960. For more information, visit