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New Mexico State University

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NMSU Carlsbad receives $4 million Title III STEM Grant

CARLSBAD ? New Mexico State University Carlsbad will receive more than $4 million in federal money to fund science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs that cater to Hispanic and low-income students. The grant aims to increase the number of Hispanic and low-income students who attain a degree in those areas.

Man points to board
NMSU Carlsbad Engineering Assistant Professor Jamil Al-Nouman demonstrates the capabilities of a smartboard in the classroom. The Title III STEM grant will enable the campus to purchase and use modern technology such as the smartboard in various areas. (NMSU photo by Khushroo Ghadiali.)

The college plans to use the grant money to hire student success coaches in developmental areas to help them get ready for college level courses. The college also plans to implement math and science tutoring for students.

The funding will enable NMSU Carlsbad to employ STEM councilors, and provide services to the rapidly increasing number of students in the STEM areas. The grant will provide training opportunities for the college?s staff and faculty as well as investments in instructional infrastructure. An example of this will be an overhaul of the campus? engineering area.

?It?s critical that we train the next generation of engineers and scientists to be ready for those analytical challenges that lay ahead,? said Teri Dodson, the acting program director. Dodson, who along with Valerie Davis, the college?s former Title V director, was instrumental in obtaining the grant, said the grant would benefit all the college?s students in the long term as they would benefit from the new infrastructure and renewed focus on the STEM area.

NMSU Carlsbad is a historic Hispanic-serving institution that serves approximately 1,900 students (31 percent Hispanic) and is the only affordable postsecondary option for a growing population of underserved, underrepresented and disadvantaged students in Eddy County. The grant represents a long-term effort by the college to make improvements in student success outcomes, particularly for Hispanic and low-income STEM students.

In addition to increasing access and graduation, the grant aims to develop articulation and transfer agreements in STEM with four-year institutions.

Specific outcomes include: increasing the percentage of Hispanic students in developmental math who successfully complete the transfer-level math course in their first year from 15.6 percent in 2015 to 30 percent and increasing the percentage of Hispanic full-time STEM degree-seeking students from 8.4 percent in 2015 to 20 percent.

Other outcomes include increasing the first- to second-year persistence rate of Hispanic full-time STEM degree seeking students from 20 percent in 2015 to 30 percent; increasing the number of articulated STEM programs with regional four-year institutions; and increasing the percentage of Hispanic students who successfully transfer to baccalaureate STEM programs. This also ties in with New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez?s plan to boost graduation rates statewide.

NMSU Carlsbad President John Gratton said he believes the grant would help the college provide access to world-class education and training and transform lives.

?This is a wonderful opportunity to help not just our Hispanic students but the entire student body,? Gratton said. ?New Mexico needs talented graduates to advance our STEM-related industries.?

Gratton said he is thankful to legislators who understood the importance of the grant for the college and the area.

?NMSU Carlsbad has always believed in the value we provide to students, not just monetarily but also in the focus areas we offer. This grant is just another example of our commitment to the county and the success of our students,? he said.

The grant will be for a period of five years.