Success Story


Back to Success Stories
<< Return to Current Success Stories

$5.9 Million Grant Funds STEM Program for UST & HCC Students

$5.9 Million Grant Funds STEM Program for  UST & HCC StudentsThe Department of Education has awarded the University of St. Thomas and Houston Community College a five-year, $5.9 million grant for Hispanic and other low-income transfer students who are interested in pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

All grant program activities are designed to increase the participation, retention, transfer rates and completion of Hispanic and other low-income STEM students. Both institutions will implement a seamless transfer program driven by a new model articulation agreement. St. Thomas will add online tutoring services that align with the HCCS online tutoring system. Both institutions will add a STEM transfer coordinator and  include mentoring and outreach conducted by faculty, mentors and peers to increase student engagement in STEM fields.

A $747,000 STEM scholarship endowment will be created at both institutions. Revenues will be increased through new transfer enrollments, strong retention and external funding.

A year-round UST/HCC undergraduate research program will be created. Each year, faculty members from St. Thomas and HCC will work with students from both institutions on undergraduate research projects. Student learning, retention, and completion will be increased through improved teaching and learning strategies, increased STEM faculty engagement and peer mentoring and tutoring. Five STEM labs at HCCS campuses aligned with St. Thomas STEM labs to provide a seamless transition to baccalaureate-level coursework.

St. Thomas will institute rigorous assessments designed to improve student outcomes by adding an assessment coordinator, expanding St. Thomas’ assessment services for STEM programs. The strategies will include program-level evaluations and integrating STEM faculty in the process.

Dr. John Palasota, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs will serve as the St. Thomas project director.  Dr. Juan Carlos Reina will serve as the HCCS project director.  Dr. Yiyan Bai and Dr. Jyoti Wagle of HCCS and Dr. Ruthann Bagnall of UST will serve as co-directors.

HCCThe University of St. Thomas is a designated Hispanic-Serving Institution with an enrollment of 3,520 students. About 36 percent of the student body is Hispanic. St. Thomas is an independent Catholic university located in the Museum District near downtown Houston. The cooperative partner institution, Houston Community College System, is a public two-year system of six community colleges under one system administration. HCCS. A designated Hispanic-Serving Institution, HCCS is the second-largest community college in the United States. More than 75,000 students enroll at HCCS every semester.

For more information, contact Dr. John Palasota, Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs, at 713-525-6918