April 2010, Volume 14, Number 2

Features

$1 million grant to boost minority success in computing careers

National Science Foundation Logo

Miami Dade College’s Wolfson Campus has won a $1 million National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to develop a project called BPC-LSA: Scaling and Adapting Computing Alliance of Hispanic-Serving Institutions (CAHSI) Initiatives. CAHSI is an NSF-funded consortium of seven universities that are committed to increasing the number of Hispanics who earn degrees in computing.

"The grant program will apply CAHSI best practices to advance the success of our Hispanic students and that of other groups underrepresented in computing fields," said Miguel Alonso Jr., Ph.D., assistant professor, Department of Engineering and Engineering Technology, School of Computer and Engineering Technologies.

Participating in the grant with MDC are California State University, San Marco, and the University of Texas Pan-American. The NSF grant will enable the partners to adapt and implement five CAHSI strategies:

• A new introductory course designed to attract and prepare students for majors in computing fields;

• A peer-led, team-learning structure to provide academic support and motivation;

• An affinity research group model to promote undergraduate retention through early research experiences and prepare students for success in upper-division and graduate studies;

• Faculty and peer mentoring to improve student success; and

• Outreach workshops to stimulate interest in computing careers among high school and undergraduate students and to disseminate project research and evaluation findings.

"Our proposal is one of only two funded in our category," Dr. Alonso said. "This grant is yet another step forward toward a bright future for academics and research here at MDC."

— BB


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