Anne Arundel Community College (AACC) has been awarded a $598,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to support the college’s Engineering Scholars Program: Increasing Access and Diversity (ESP Scholars).
“We are all very excited,” said Alycia Marshall, Ph.D., AACC associate professor of mathematics, who will oversee the program. “I hope it’s going to help people who want to come to Anne Arundel Community College, who are gifted and have the raw material there. We want to be able to provide the support system to help them be successful and get them into a four-year college and then into the workforce.”
“We’re going to help more and more students succeed in completing their programs. At the same time, we’re increasing the number of graduates who will continue in the engineering field, which will benefit the community as well. AACC will be known as an institution that produces highly qualified engineers,” Marshall said.
This program will provide scholarships of up to $4,000 each year to financially needy, academically talented students to help them graduate from AACC engineering programs, transfer to a four-year institution and enter the workforce. About 50 percent of participants will come from populations underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields, such as women, African Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans.
In addition to increasing financial and student services support for ESP Scholars, the program’s goals include expanding student academic and support services for ESP Scholars, increasing retention of ESP Scholars to degree completion and enhancing placement of graduating ESP Scholars in the STEM workforce or in enrollment in a four-year engineering degree program.
The Baltimore-Washington, D.C., corridor fared well with the coming Federal Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC), which is expected to bring more than 45,000 federal and private sector jobs to the area in the coming decade. Maryland employers, however, face a critical shortage of prospective engineers in the pipeline to support growth in STEM-related industries.
As a result of this need, the ESP Scholars program at AACC plans to award scholarships focusing on degree programs, including the Associate of Science (A.S.) in Engineering Transfer, the Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree programs in Electronic Engineering Technology – Electronics Option and in Electronic Engineering Technology – Telecommunications Option and the Associate of Science in Engineering in Electrical Engineering.
The ESP Scholars program strongly aligns with Anne Arundel Community College’s mission of offering high quality, affordable and accessible learning opportunities and with Student Success 2020, a multi-tiered initiative driven by the goal of doubling the number of degrees, certificates and workforce credentials awarded by 2020.