ESCC Awarded Major Three Year Grant From National Science Foundation
Eastern Shore Community College (ESCC) has been awarded a three year, $365,000 National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education grant. The project, entitled “Creating Technical Scholars: A Model for Structured Pathways”, will create a seamless transition pathway from secondary education to post-secondary education to employment in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) related fields and high-tech positions by expanding ESCC’s existing career pathways. The primary goal of the project is to increase student success and completion by establishing pathways for students to earn post-secondary credentials leading to employment and/or baccalaureate degrees. The model will include stacked credentials, internships coordinated by ESCC, business- and industry-designed curriculum, college capstone experiences, and multiple articulation agreements with four-year institutions. Creation and implementation of this model will increase student success in STEM and technical careers, and boost economic development in STEM fields on the Eastern Shore by increasing the number of workers and improving their skill level, while meeting the needs of the area’s employers.
To reach these outcomes, the CTS project will utilize four strategic objectives:
- Design Dual Enrollment Technical Tracks in specific career and technical education (CTE) programs for the region’s high school students
- Create a Technical Studies Associates Degree with tracks in Cybersecurity, Industrial Technology, HVAC, Welding, and Electricity
- Establish articulation agreements with regional four-year colleges and universities for students wishing to pursue further education in technical studies fields
John Floyd, Assistant Professor of Electronics at ESCC, commented “One of the most exciting aspects of this project is that students will be able to explore career options by taking classes in a technical subject like Electricity or Welding at ESCC and know that the credits they earn could be applied to an Associate Degree or eventually transferred to four year institution”.
Dr. Kimberly Britt, VP of Academics and Student Affairs added, “Students in Accomack and Northampton counties will now have the opportunity to complete high school with more than a random collection of dual enrollment college courses. Because of this NSF grant they will have the opportunity to graduate high school with a college level career studies certificate, certificate or a technical studies degree. They will be both prepared for four-year college study and the world of work”.
ESCC President Dr. Linda Thomas- Glover shared in the enthusiasm of hearing of the grants acceptance, “Nationally and locally, we continue to hear about jobs that exist, yet remain unfilled due to an unprepared workforce. This project highlights the opportunities that exist to strengthen the workforce on the Eastern Shore as a result of the partnership between ESCC and our K-12 partners. The demand for individuals with skills in areas with a technical focus is ever increasing. Students will have the opportunity explore career pathways and earn industry recognized credentials which will be of great value to potential employers and the students. Students will complete their desired program of study armed with skill s to be successful within the workplace or to continue with advance studies at senior institutions”.
For more information on ESCC’s current offerings in these areas and others, please visit es.vccs.edu, or contact Student Services today at 757-789-1720.
Recent STEM related learning environments at Eastern Shore Community College