It has been a banner summer, fifty years in the making, for student-support grants on the UNCG campus. In early August, the U.S. Department of Education renewed UNCG’s TRiO Student Support Services Program grant, awarding $1.4 million over five years. 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of this program on our campus.
At the same time, the UNCG TriO team, housed in the Division of Student Success, was also awarded a new $1.6 million SSS STEM Health (SSS STEM-H) grant. Both grants support students from low-income, first-generation, or under-represented minority backgrounds, as well as students with disabilities. Students in these programs receive supplemental academic support, including tutoring, advising, and skills development. The SSS STEM-H grant was developed in collaboration with STEM faculty and departments campus-wide.
The Division of Student Success is also adding the Department of Education’s Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) to its growing list of opportunities for students, via a $76,000 grant awarded in August. A new GEAR UP Coordinator will work closely with first-year students who graduated from target North Carolina high schools, coaching them on the transition from high school to college, and helping them navigate their first year. Kara Baldwin and her team (Office of TRiO Programs), along with Andrew Hamilton (AVP and Dean of Undergraduate Studies) are leading these three programs.
In a sign of UNCG’s growing profile in supporting students, a team drawn from science units from all around campus was also awarded a $1 million Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S-STEM) grant from the National Science Foundation. This grant will provide continuing funding for the Science Technology, and Math Preparations Scholarships (STAMPS) program, led by Jeff Patton (GES), Malcolm Schug (Biology), Lee Phillips (URSCO), Ayesha Boyce (OAERS), and Lynn Sametz (GES).
The National Science Foundation has also awarded Maia Popova (Chemistry and Biochemistry) $345,000 over two years to study and improve chemistry instruction at the undergraduate level, especially in the area of learning and communicating with graphic representations.
Taken together, these awards point to UNCG’s growing strength and leadership nationally in supporting teaching, learning, and undergraduate student success, especially for students from backgrounds that are typically underserved in higher education.
Story by Andrew Hamilton, University Student Success
Photography by Martin. W. Kane, University Communications