Math and Science Students To Benefit from New Grant

December 02, 2013

Northampton Community College (NCC) has been awarded a $212,489 planning grant from the National Science Foundation for a new math-science partnership. This is the fourth NSF grant Northampton has received from the National Science Foundation in the last seven years.

The planning grant will enable faculty members to explore ways to make greater use of three types of instruction that have proven particularly effective in NCC's SMaRT Scholars Program.  Students in that program receive full-tuition scholarships, advising and networking opportunities to help launch their careers as scientists, engineers, technicians and mathematicians.  After earning associates degrees from Northampton, SMaRT Scholars have transferred to Lehigh University, Penn State, Rutgers and other colleges and universities and been hired by companies including B. Braun Medical, Inc., East Penn Manufacturing, Sanofi Pasteur, and Victaulic.

The goal of the planning grant is to find ways to give even more students the opportunity to benefit from inquiry-based learning, experiential learning and service learning in courses such as biology, chemistry, and mathematics, and ultimately in other subjects at Northampton and possibly elsewhere.  The results of the research may serve as a model for other colleges and universities.

In recent years the National Science Foundation has increased its funding for community colleges in its quest to keep the United States competitive in science and engineering.  More than 40% of students in the United States begin their college education at a community college.

Famous scientists who attended community college include Eileen Collins, the first woman to pilot the space shuttle; Bruce Kemmerer, winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry; and Dr. Richard Carmona, the former surgeon general of the United States.


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