By WRAL Tech Wire STEM News

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. – Elizabeth City State University is one of 12 grantees to receive STEM funding last week.

On Friday, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan named 12 colleges and universities across the country that serve large minority populations who will receive $2,898,578 in grants to strengthen education programs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.

Elizabeth City State University received $282,957.

Dr. Ali Khan, provost and vice chancellor of the ECSU Division of Academic Affairs, said this partnership with 12 other colleges and universities will likely impact up to 2,000 students who benefit from the training their professors receive.

“Over the course of the next three years, we will use this funding from the Department of Education to fund workshops where up to 50 faculty will learn techniques that improve their critical thinking skills,” said Khan. “In those workshops, we will help the participants design classrooms where professors take a multimedia approach to instruction. “

ECSU Chancellor Willie J. Gilchrist said the grant is a great investment in the students who pursue degrees in STEM.

“We are fortunate to have faculty here at ECSU who are well prepared to provide this service to the guest faculty who will attend the upcoming workshops,” said Gilchrist. “We look forward to working with our new partners to prepare the students who select these challenging fields of study.”

Under the Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program (MSEIP), grants were awarded to institutions in California, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, and Texas to increase the number of ethnic minorities, particularly ethnic women, studying in STEM fields.

“These grants will help prepare more minority students for STEM-related careers, which are in high-demand and critical to building a competitive workforce that will grow our economy,” explained Secretary Duncan.

In addition to the goal of these grants – to expand career opportunities for underrepresented groups, especially women – the U.S. DoE also is working to improve the quality of math and science teaching in our nation’s schools so that students can master challenging content, think critically in STEM-related subjects, and are no longer outperformed by students in other nations.

MSEIP is currently supporting 38 continuation grants, in addition to the 12 three-year grants awarded today.

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