Schools & Education

UPDATED: Gavilan College awarded third consecutive federal STEM grant

$4.7 million grant will help fund student internships, expansion of a math lab and programs to help students transfer to four-year schools

The United States Department of Education on Sept. 27 announced that Gavilan College will be a recipient of $4,737,455 in federal funding for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education through the Hispanic-Serving Institution (HIS) STEM Program.

The college learned of the award during a visit by a Department of Education officer, who was on campus to review the progress of the two prior grants.

Gavilan College President Kathleen Rose said: “While touring campus he shared the news of the award of the STEM grant that will allow Gavilan to continue to focus our efforts on student internships, expand the math lab, and position students for science transfer programs with our partner institutions.”

The grant to Gavilan College is for an initiative titled “Strengthening Hispanic STEM Students: Comprehensive Support, Guided Pathways, Renewed Learning.” It’s purpose is to increase transfer and degrees among Hispanic, low income, and first generation STEM students.

One of the ways this will be done is by increasing support for these students. The college will use STEM funds to create an equipped, centralized STEM Support Center. The grant will also ensure that STEM students have access to a STEM counselor, and that prospective students and their families are receiving good information about STEM education and career options through outreach to the local communities. The Summer Bridge program for pre-freshmen and a Transition Academy for second year students will help STEM students transition from high school to college, and then from Gavilan College to a university.

Another goal for the grant is to strengthen STEM pathways to transfer. This will help students navigate the many choices before them, and plan their educations to achieve their goals. Gavilan College will be developing “STEM Guided Pathways,” which will be streamlined program maps and articulation agreements with San Jose State University, creating a clear pathway from Gavilan College to a bachelor’s degree in the sciences.

The third component of the grant is to renew STEM teaching and learning opportunities. Students and faculty will be able to participate in an inclusive STEM culture through the STEM Support Center. Faculty will also pilot new techniques and high-impact practices in their instruction.  Students will have access to accelerated remedial math and English and supplementary instruction in their introductory STEM classes, as needed, and continued access to student research internships in collaboration with SJSU faculty.

“We are thrilled to be able to continue this important work, showcase the stellar work of our faculty, and leverage the relationships with our industry and community partners through internships and apprenticeship programs" said Dr. Rose.

This award follows two prior STEM grants to the college, from 2008-2010 and from 2011-2016. The three grants combined have brought a combined $14,310,789 in federal funding to the community.

Fran Lozano, Gavilan College's dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences said: “STEM I provided much-needed science equipment; STEM II helped create indoor and outdoor instructional spaces, including the Native Garden and Arboretum; and STEM III will give us a STEM Support Center where students can congregate, hear lectures, study, share experiences, and grow in the subjects they love.”

According to Rose, “This is yet another reason for the community to come see what is happening at Gavilan College today."


Jan Bernstein Chargin has been the Director of Public Information for Gavilan College since 2001.