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NSF Awards Grant to Address ‘Transfer Shock’ in Community College STEM Students

Gaston College recently received a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant totaling $972,598 to address “transfer shock” in community college students pursuing studies in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

The grant will support the college’s project “SPARC3 Initiative: Alleviating Transfer Shock in Community College STEM Students.” NSF’s award is the third issued to the SPARC3 program since 2014, according to the college.

During the project’s time frame, ten eligible students in the Associate of Science (A.S.) program at the college will receive a two-year scholarship, participate in faculty and peer mentoring and receive customized advising to encourage successful transfer to a STEM degree program at a four-year university.

“Upon completion of the A.S. program, these students will be eligible for an additional one-year transfer scholarship to any four-year university to assist them in the completion of an approved STEM degree,” the grant announcement said.

The latest grant will expand and scale-up Gaston’s SPARC3 program that has led to improved academic scores and associate degree completion for participating students. To date, the college has awarded 74 scholarships to students pursuing STEM degrees, with many continuing their education at four-year institutions.

Tiffany Pennamon can be reached at [email protected]. You can follow her on Twitter @tiffanypennamon.

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