NSF Awards UNC Charlotte $999,591 Grant for Engineering Scholarships

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

The National Science Foundation has awarded a $999,591 grant to UNC Charlotte to support high-achieving, low-income engineering students as part of the NSF’s Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (S-STEM) program. The UNC Charlotte program, called Engineering Academic Pathways, includes scholarship funds and programming to promote success among low-income students. Applications for the scholarships are now being accepted and the first awards will be made for fall 2019.

“UNC Charlotte made a commitment to respond to the economic mobility hurdles that were identified by the Charlotte Mecklenburg Opportunity Task Force, and this is one of those responses” said Dr. Brett Tempest, associate professor of Civil Engineering and lead principal investigator on the UNC Charlotte Engineering Academic Pathways leadership team. “The education that our college of engineering offers is an extremely reliable route to a good job, and the increased access that these scholarships and programs will be a game changer for many families in our region.”

The UNC Charlotte Engineering Academic Pathways program will fund scholarships for 15 students as they pursue bachelor’s degrees in engineering and engineering technology disciplines. The renewable scholarships will provide individual students with $10,000 a year for tuition and fees, and a $2,000 stipend for professional development.

Along with increasing recruitment, retention and graduation of low-income students, a goal of the S-STEM program is to implement and study models, effective practices and strategies that contribute to student success. The program will build on the effective, recruiting, advising, curricular and co-curricular activities in STEM education that are provided by the Office of Student Development and Success. 

To achieve and measure the academic goals of the program, the UNC Charlotte team includes members from the Cato College of Education, the Center for STEM Education, and the Lee College of Engineering Dean’s Office and Office of Student Development and Success. The team members are:

Leadership Team
Dr. Brett Tempest (Lead PI)
Dr. Stephanie Galloway (Co-PI, Lee College of Engineering)
Dr. Sejal Foxx (Co-PI, Cato College of Education)
Dr. Chance Lewis (Co-PI, Cato College of Education)

Implementation and Evaluation Team
Ms. Gina Robinson (Office of Student Development and Success)
Mr. Chris McDaniel (Office of Student Development and Success)
Dr. David Pugalee (Program Evaluator, Center for STEM Education)

The Engineering Academic Pathways program will focus on increasing applications from two Title I schools in Charlotte by delivering programs that prepare students for college entry exams, and providing professional development to school counselors. A suite of student-success programs will be provided to all students who matriculate. The program will include annual retreats and travel funds to help scholars attend professional networking events.

Requirements of the Engineering Academic Pathways scholarships include:

  • High school GPA of 3.6 or higher
  • Grade of C or better in all high school math courses
  • Minimum ACT math score of 23, or SAT math score of 570
  • Completion of at least one pre-calculus course in high school, and the ability to enroll in college calculus during the first semester at UNC Charlotte.
  • Family income less than twice the US Department of Health and Human Services Federal Poverty Guidelines*.  

More information on applying for the Engineering Academic Pathways scholarships is here.

*For 2018, this guideline is $25,100 per year for a family of 4 in the 48 contiguous states.  These family income guidelines will be used to qualify applicants, however, students’ actual need will be assessed by U.S. Department of Education rules for need-based Federal financial aid Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).