YAKIMA, WA – Yakima Valley College (YVC) has been awarded a pair of National Science Foundation grants to support Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs. YVC is committed to offering excellent undergraduate STEM instruction through outstanding resources and faculty, intended to prepare students to succeed in transfer or professional/technical education.
First, a collaboration with Central Washington University (CWU) has been awarded $122,300 over the next three years to create a Sustainability for Our Lives, Values, Environment and Resources (SOLVER) bridging program between YVC and CWU. The grant is designed to increase the enrollment and retention rate of YVC STEM students. Specifically, YVC students will have increased access to undergraduate research and CWU faculty.
“The SOLVER program provides multiple opportunities for our students to work on research questions and interact with CWU faculty,” stated YVC Biology Instructor Dr. Matthew Loeser.
Second, YVC has been awarded a $447,776 grant over the next five years to create a New Scientist Training (NeST) program. The NeST program will stimulate performance of low-income and first-generation college students interested in earning a degree in a STEM field. The program, based at YVC, includes the following key elements: incentivized scholarships to be awarded for academic performance, undergraduate research opportunities, support for the STEM club, expanded tutoring and proactive advising.
The results of this program will shed light on important questions about financial aid practices that may propel our promising, but underrepresented students towards success in the sciences.
“The NeST program is an exciting addition to the suite of student experiences we offer at YVC and one that will improve educational attainment for lower income families from across our valley,” stated Dean of Arts & Sciences Kerrie Cavaness.