The U.S. Department of Education recently announced a $1.1 million grant for the STEM3 program at Fort Lewis College. The program will receive $220,000 each year for the next five years.
The STEM3 program exists to offer support to college students working toward science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) degrees. Particular attention is given to students who are first-generation, low-income and/or have a disability. At Fort Lewis College, the STEM3 program serves approximately 120 students each year.
“The way we’re different is that we provide very individualized services based on the student’s needs,” explains Susan Decker, program director for STEM3 at FLC.
Some of the services the program offers includes specialized academic advising, tutoring, help with financial aid, and graduate school preparation. The new federal funding will also go towards creating a faculty office within FLC’s STEM3 Center. The hope is that professors can use the office to work with STEM3 students on a more personalized level.
“We have objectives every year that we have to fulfill that the federal government puts forward, and we have met or exceeded those every year,” says Susan.
In recent years the STEM3 program at FLC has seen 82 percent of its students maintain a good academic standing (2.0 GPA or better). Even more impressive is the fact that 98 percent of STEM3 students are able to persist in their education from year to year. This far exceeds the federal government’s persistence objective of 60 percent for STEM3 students.
“We work with students who deal with some significant barriers to success in college," says Susan, "and STEM3 has enjoyed a pretty high level of academic success with them."
Learn more about the STEM3 program at Fort Lewis College.