$6M grant for HCC aimed at boosting STEM opportunities for Hispanic students
Hillsborough Community College will receive a huge boost to its STEM education opportunities, especially for Hispanic-American students, thanks to a new grant of nearly $6 million.
“Higher-wage jobs for Tampa-area graduates are an important part of growing an economy that works for all of us,” U.S. Rep Kathy Castor said in a statement announcing the grant on Wednesday.
Investing in STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) in the Hispanic community, Castor said, will translate to better jobs, better wages and better futures.
“Today’s STEM students are the researchers, scientists, doctors and engineers of tomorrow,” she said in her statement.
The five-year grant from the Department of Education is the largest in its history in this category, according to the statement. HCC plans to use it to beef up its STEM pipeline, from developmental math up to four-year degree completion.
As the only Hispanic-serving institution in Tampa Bay, HCC has built a “track record for diversity,” Castor said.
“We appreciate the recognition of the important work that has been done at our Dale Mabry Campus to increase student success, retention and degree completion in STEM fields with this growing Hispanic student population,” HCC President Dr. Ken Atwater said in a statement.
The school has more than 44,000 students, more than half of are minorities. About 28 percent identify as Hispanic-American.
Hispanic students are just as likely to major in STEM subjects, but are much less likely to earn a degree or certificate in them.