As part of its increased commitment to advancing science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines, Cal State East Bay has received a $100,000 planning grant to research and develop programs that will support and improve science and math education in K-12 schools and universities.
The grant comes from Living Cities, an East Coast consortium of major corporations and foundations, partnering with the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities and “Strive Together,” a program at the University of Cincinnati. Ben Hecht, president and CEO of Living Cities, announced the awards April 29.
"This grant represents recognition of Cal State East Bay's leadership in STEM education, and its commitment to regional stewardship," said CSUEB President Mohammad Qayoumi. "The Living Cities concept dovetails with the university's mission to raise up a technologically fluent workforce that draws on the strength of corporate and public sector partnerships. This approach creates tremendous opportunities for our urban neighborhoods and residents historically underrepresented in education and employment."
CSUEB applied last summer to be one of the anchor institutions for the P-20 Education and Workforce Partnership initiative and was one of only four universities selected nationwide following a months-long intensive review process. With this funding, the university will work with regional partners in education and industry to explore new data-driven approaches for student success at all grade levels and integrate them with existing programs.
According to Thomas Dalton, special consultant to the provost for CSUEB, this initiative will help ensure that students are served by complementary and comprehensive programs throughout the educational pipeline. “Cal State East Bay has numerous programs designed to improve science and math education and is, therefore, interested in seeing how they can be used to help enhance student performance while increasing the number of students who eventually obtain degrees in science, technology, engineering and math,” he said.
Rhea Williamson, associate vice president for research and sponsored programs, said CSUEB’s research will likely focus on three points in the educational pathway, involving science career awareness in middle school, seventh and eighth grade algebra, and the transition from high school to college level science and math. Each point represents a critical stage in students’ subsequent academic success in these subjects in high school, college and careers in STEM fields, she said.
The University of Houston, Virginia Commonwealth University and Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis also received P-20 grants from Living Cities. CSUEB will collaborate and share research with each of them through an executive committee and will make recommendations to the partnership’s advisory board. Representatives from Strive Together, the model program funded by Living Cities, will provide guidance and technical assistance.
Following the planning stage, Dalton said Living Cities may make additional funding available for implementation. In addition, Nicole Taylor, president and CEO of East Bay Community Foundation, will work as the funding convener, identifying local sources of money to supplement the grant income to support and sustain the initiative’s goals.
Cal State East Bay’s regional partners include the Bay Area Council, Silicon Valley Leadership Group, East Bay Economic Development Alliance, Tri-Valley Business Council, Contra Costa Council, Los Medanos Community College, Los Positas Community College, Alameda County Office of Education, Contra Costa County Office of Education, New United Motor Manufacturing Inc., Bank of America, John Muir Health and the Soda Foundation.