(TNS) — The University of Texas at San Antonio received a $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation to improve undergraduate studies in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
The four-year grant comes from the foundation’s Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program, which awards funding to projects that strive to enhance the quality of undergraduate education in STEM fields while retaining and graduating students.
More than half of UTSA’s student population is Hispanic, according to the university’s Office of Institutional Research. About 1,045 students graduate with a bachelor’s degree in one of the STEM fields each year, according to a statement from UTSA. Of those, more than 52 percent are minorities.
The grant will be used to help faculty relate the coursework to the students’ backgrounds, connect upper- and lower-level courses, develop peer mentoring and help students assume professional identities that will make them more marketable in the workforce, according to statements from the university and foundation.
“We know that there are certain courses that challenge our students,” said Heather Shipley, vice provost of academic affairs and dean of UTSA’s University College. “By re-developing the way we teach those courses, we will be able to maintain the academic standards of our curriculum while making the curriculum more accessible to our students.
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