Davidson County Community College receives grant for women in STEM

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 4, 2017

THOMASVILLE Davidson County Community College has received a $25,000 Ribbon of Hope grant from the North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation to develop strategies to boost the number of female students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The Females in Math and Science (FeMS) project will provide a set of academic and student support services to increase female students’ enrollment, success and completion of the associate in science degree at DCCC.

To create stronger pipelines from high schools to college, DCCC faculty will work with local high school science and math teachers and counselors to earlier identify female students showing academic potential and interest in STEM majors and careers. The project will serve about 20 students per year who will receive support services such as proactive advising, designated coaching and tutoring services, and faculty mentoring. The project aims to increase enrollment in college-level math and science courses in the first semester, improve success rates in these courses, increase awareness and use of support services, and improve academic progress toward degree completion.

“This is a great opportunity for female students in our communities who are interested in the STEM areas,” said Jennifer Sink, associate dean of the STEM disciplines at DCCC and co-leader of the initiative. “We know that interest in STEM majors declines from the start of high school to high school graduation. Through connections with our local high schools, females who may not think they are college material will be nurtured and encouraged to pursue their STEM interests and eventually higher education.”

DCCC President Mary Rittling noted, “The STEM fields are experiencing tremendous growth, and significant opportunity exists for careers that allow for economic mobility and family sustaining wages. We also know that women have been underrepresented in those fields. We are grateful to the GlaxoSmithKline Foundation for its support of this project allowing us to create opportunities that will strengthen our local communities.”