STEM Scholars Program

A grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) provides scholarships to students studying in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields as well as support for additional activities such as mentoring and field trips. Results of the program will be shared with the NSF.


Johnson County Community College was awarded a five-year grant totaling $644,760 from the National Science Foundation to create the JCCC STEM Scholars Program and to research its efficacy in retaining students to graduation in a bachelor’s degree in a STEM field. The program is comprised of three parts: scholarships, program activities and research.

Scholarships

Up to six scholarships a semester are awarded to incoming students of JCCC who plan to study in a STEM field.

Students who complete their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the scholarship application from JCCC Financial Aid are notified whether they qualify for the STEM Scholars program. Recipients must show financial need and meet other criteria.

A JCCC committee selects STEM Scholars from this pool based on an interview and supplemental information.

STEM Scholars then may receive up to $10,000 per year for two years to cover the cost of tuition, fees, books and other expenses. Scholarship amounts will be determined based on a number of factors.

Program

STEM Scholars also receive non-monetary assistance to assure academic success.

  • Mentoring: Each scholar is assigned a faculty mentor related to the scholar’s field of study, and through scheduled meetings, the faculty mentor helps the scholar maneuver through potential pitfalls. After the first semester, the scholars act as mentors to the next class of scholars, sharing their experience at JCCC and within the STEM Scholars program.
  • Required resource center visits: Each scholar is expected to visit resource centers weekly to gain free tutoring help.
  • Meetings and activities: STEM Scholars meet throughout fall and spring semesters for enrichment activities such as field trips to STEM-related businesses or museums. These opportunities for networking also give group participants a chance to know each other and provide a social support system.

Research

JCCC’s Institutional Effectiveness, Planning and Research will track the progress of the students and report to the NSF certain key statistics, including whether JCCC STEM Scholars successfully transfer to a four-year school and graduate with a degree in STEM.