Hampton, Va. - The Hampton University First in the World Partnership (HU-FITWP) has been awarded a $3.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The project goal is to increase the access to and affordability of a university education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines (STEM) for underrepresented, and or low-income students.
“After receiving nearly 500 applications from around the country, we’re excited to announce Hampton University will receive a First in the World grant, funded for the first time this year,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “Each grantee demonstrated a high-quality, creative and sound approach to expand college access and improve student outcomes. We are confident these projects will have a positive impact on increasing access and completion and help us reach President Obama’s 2020 goal, to once again have the highest share of college graduates in the world.”
“While the number of STEM jobs continues to increase, the number of underrepresented minorities graduating with degrees in these fields remains low,” said Hampton University President Dr. William R. Harvey. “We believe the Hampton University First in the World Partnership will provide minority students with access to a university STEM education and the tools necessary to be successful and graduate.”
To help facilitate the goals of the HU-FITWP, partnerships will be established with several entities from academia and the private sector. These partners include Northwestern University; the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering; Accenture; Achievable Dream Academies, Newport News, Va. and the From One Hand to Another Foundation, Virginia Beach, Va. These establishments will provide such support as offering internships, employment opportunities, hosting enriching lecture series and exposing the participating students to educational experiences that promote interest in the STEM disciplines.
HU-FITWP will implement innovative strategies and practices that can be effective in improving student enrollment and graduation rates. The target population includes students who have been accepted to HU for the fall 2014 semester and subsequent years and have declared a STEM major. Project activities will include redesign of math courses, student-centric and project-based learning, the creation of a math emporium, a summer bridge program and faculty development.
The project goal is to serve 1,056 students over four years. The anticipated results include an increase in college success/persistence for underrepresented, underprepared and/or low-income STEM students, increased earning potential for students, decreased societal costs and more STEM-qualified underrepresented graduates.