Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas has been awarded a $4 million Title III grant from the U.S. Department of Education to strengthen instruction in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
Set to receive a total of $4,196,355 over the next five fiscal years, PCCUA was one of only two Arkansas community colleges to receive one of the grants and one of 39 higher education institutions to be selected a recipient.
This grant project is designated as Increasing STEM Success and Enrollment with the purpose of strengthening the college by improving instruction in the four key areas. This goal will be achieved through a number of activities such as improving the ways the college teaches STEM through faculty development, instructional and lab equipment upgrades, and course revisions to increase engagement in learning. The revised courses will have greater interactivity, collaboration, and hands-on learning reinforced through student research projects and summer academies. PCCUA also plans to focus on improving STEM advising to ensure better course selections. Stronger advising will also benefit students with interest in STEM who need encouragement to pursue fields that define the future.
The PCCUA project will be phased to develop, pilot-test and evaluate new practices and improvements in math, life and physical sciences, chemistry, and computer and renewable energy technologies. Plans include creating a STEM Success Center to house services and support. The STEM instructional area on the Helena-West Helena campus will also be renovated to improve safety, accessibility, and instructional effectiveness.
PCCUA Chancellor Dr. Steven Murray said, “We are excited about the possibilities this grant will provide in boosting our students' interest in the STEM fields. As we continually address the educational needs of our students, this grant will go a long way in providing additional instructional support and expanded opportunities to ensure the success of our students.”
Title III grants are designed to increase colleges' self-sufficiency and expand their capacity to serve low-income students by improving and strengthening academic quality, institutional management, and fiscal stability.