The National Science Foundation's Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (S-STEM) program has awarded Lycoming College a grant in the amount of $648,915 to support a new program: Living and Learning STEM (L2S). L2S is designed to attract and support academically talented undergraduate students pursuing degrees in astronomy, physics, neuroscience, actuarial science, biology, chemistry or mathematics. This scholarship program will enhance Lycoming's long tradition of providing promising young scholars, regardless of their ability to pay, a traditional liberal arts and sciences education.
L2S scholars will be recruited from the local region, as well as Lycoming College's expanding national recruiting base, and will be awarded competitive scholarships of up to $7,400 for each of a student's four years at the College. "This prestigious grant will enhance our ability to attract and recruit talented science-oriented students," said Kent Trachte, Ph.D., president of Lycoming College. "The College will begin recruitment immediately so that the program can be launched in the fall of 2018."
In addition, Lycoming College will adapt and implement strategies and practices that will address the academic, financial and social factors underlying student retention and academic success. Key components of this enhanced support include a living-learning community (LLC) that will house first year STEM students, including L2S scholars; a mentorship program that establishes relationships with faculty, upperclassmen, alumni and a STEM career advisor; and an enhanced academic experience program that will provide at least one guaranteed paid summer internship or research experience for each L2S scholar. These strategies and practices will be integrated into a holistic system that ultimately ensures graduation of a maximum number of individuals who will enter the STEM workforce or pursue graduate studies in STEM-related fields.
"The impact of support aimed at improving social interactions and academic success have been under-researched in STEM education," said David Broussard, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology and principal investigator for the S-STEM grant. "The L2S project will generate knowledge about whether a STEM-based LLC, mentorships and enhanced academic experiences will help academically talented STEM majors with financial aid needs succeed by improving community interactions throughout their undergraduate tenure."
More information on L2S is available at http://www.lycoming.edu/financialAid/s-stem.aspx.