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Montgomery College Awarded $600,000 Grant by National Science Foundation

The National Science Foundation awarded Montgomery College a four-year, $600,000 grant under its Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (S-STEM) program. The grant will assist engineering students within the College’s Science, Engineering and Mathematics Area at the Rockville Campus.

This is Montgomery College’s first S-STEM grant. Dr. Alex Hou, professor of engineering at the Rockville Campus, and Dr. Sanjay Rai, instructional dean of the Science, Engineering and Mathematics Area, will direct the new grant-funded project entitled, “ACCESS (Achieving Community College Excellence, Success, and Scholarship) Engineering.”

“Over the past few years, the United States has lost its standing in the world within the fields of science and mathematics,” said Dr. Sanjay Rai, dean of the Science, Engineering and Mathematics Area. “Add in the large number of U.S. scientists reaching retirement age and you have a major problem confronting higher education. With this grant, we will encourage more women and minorities to pursue not only a degree, but a career in engineering.”

Over the grant period, ACCESS Engineering will provide 150 scholarships to qualified engineering students. The project promotes full-time enrollment, academic achievement, and successful transfer and completion of a bachelor’s degree in engineering. Scholarship students will have access to multiple support services focused on academic, career, and transfer advising opportunities, as well as supplemental instruction, mentoring, and internships.

The Montgomery County Department of Economic Development is a key partner in this project. Additionally, the University of Maryland College Park and George Washington University will provide activities to better prepare Montgomery College students to transfer to the school of their choice.

Starting in November, scholarship applications will be available for students planning to attend the spring 2009 semester. Scholarship recipients must be U .S. citizens, permanent residents, or refugee aliens; show academic potential or ability and have a demonstrated financial need. Scholarship awards will be available for as many as four academic years for full-time students pursuing an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in engineering.

For more information, contact Dr. Sanjay Rai at 240-567-5031, Dr. Alex Hou at 240-567-7608, or Miriam Carter, assistant to the deans, at 240-567-5357.

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