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NSF Award to Bolster STEM Education at Hispanic-Serving Institutions

CSUF to Host Regional Conference This Spring for Stakeholders
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Cal State Fullerton has been awarded a National Science Foundation grant to host a regional conference this spring to identify critical challenges and opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics undergraduate education.

NSF has issued the first awards in 2018 for its “Improving Undergraduate STEM Education: Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program,” which was launched last year. CSUF is receiving a $90,784 award for its project on “Dissecting the STEM Education Ecosystem in Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs): Regional Insights from Southern California.”

With the NSF funding, a three-day regional campus conference is being planned for April 25-27 at the Fullerton Marriott. Administrators, along with faculty and staff members from local school districts, community colleges, regional public and private universities, including from CSUF, and California State University and University of California campuses, as well as government leaders and other community partners, will be among invited participants, said Yusheng “Christopher” Liu, associate vice president for research and sponsored projects, who is directing the project.

“Getting this award from the National Science Foundation shows that CSUF is the regional HSI leader on STEM undergraduate education,” Liu said. “The great benefit is that the university will continue to provide leadership in the region — and the nation — in promoting STEM opportunities at HSIs.”

CSUF’s project is one of seven conference projects funded by NSF to gather stakeholder input in efforts to increase retention and graduation rates of undergraduate students pursuing STEM degrees at Hispanic-Serving Institutions.

Hispanic-Serving Institutions are defined under the Higher Education Act as colleges or universities where at least 25 percent of the undergraduate, full-time enrollment is Hispanic, and at least half of the institution’s degree-seeking students are low-income. CSUF was named a Hispanic-Serving Institution in 2004. Today, nearly 41 percent of the university’s student population is Hispanic.

For more about research and sponsored projects, visit online.