Students at Spokane Falls Community College have a new engineering scholarship opportunity thanks to a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to support low-income students from groups underrepresented in the engineering field—ethnic minorities, women and students from rural areas.
The five-year grant totaling $649,790 will provide scholarships to 36 qualified students studying engineering at SFCC and expand access to critical support services such as dedicated faculty advising and mentoring. The grant also includes outreach to eastern Washington high schools to recruit academically motivated low-income students.
The grant is also a partnership with Eastern Washington University and will engage junior and senior-level engineering students as peer mentors to first-year community college students with a year-long robotics design project.
This combination of targeted scholarships, faculty mentoring and student support activities is designed to expand the number of underrepresented students who complete an engineering transfer degree at SFCC and then successfully transfer to a four-year university. As a result, the diversity and availability of qualified engineers will be strengthened to meet workforce needs in the regional economy. Principal investigators for the grant are SFCC instructors Mark Gorski, Sabrina Robinson and Greg Cripe.
“This grant provides an excellent opportunity for us to reach out to academically talented students that typically do not consider pursuing a career in engineering,” said Gorski. “SFCC is a great place for students to start their academic careers in engineering, and we are very excited about the opportunities that this grant will provide for our students.”
About Spokane Falls Community College
SFCC serves more than 8,000 students per year on the Spokane and Pullman campuses and online, offering associate degrees for students transferring to four-year institutions, career and technical programs and applied baccalaureate degrees.
Note: Partial support for this work was provided by the National Science Foundation Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S STEM) program under Award No. 1741960. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.