Representative Nita Lowey

Representing the 17th District of New York

Lowey Announces $696,572 for Five-Year Mercy College Program Supporting Hispanic & Low-Income Students in STEM

October 13, 2016
Press Release

Lowey Announces $696,572 for Five-Year Mercy College Program Supporting Hispanic & Low-Income Students in STEM

More than 2,500 unfilled positions in Lower Hudson Valley in health care and software engineering

Funds will enable partnership between Mercy College and Westchester Community College

Photos available HERE

Dobbs Ferry, NY – Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D- Rockland/Westchester), the senior Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, today was joined at the Mercy College Wellness Initiative Fair by Mercy College President Timothy Hall, Westchester Community College Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Peggy Bradford, Mercy College senior and Biology major Christian Castillo, as well as administrators from Mercy College and Westchester Community College, to announce a $696,572 grant from the Department of Education (ED) Hispanic Serving Institution - Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics (HSI STEM) and Articulation Program for Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry. This funding will help create Team STEM, a five-year joint program between Mercy College and Westchester Community College (WCC) to help Hispanic and low-income students complete studies in STEM fields.

“Educating more students in STEM fields is one of the most productive steps we can take to strengthen our economy,” said Lowey. “I’m pleased that Mercy College and Westchester Community College are using these federal dollars to address a growing need for STEM professionals in the Hudson Valley. As Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee, I will continue working to provide students of all backgrounds with the resources they need to succeed in a dynamic, globalized workforce.”

“We are grateful for this grant and for the support we receive from Congresswoman Lowey,” said Tim Hall, President of Mercy College. “We are a proud Hispanic serving institution, and these dollars will allow Mercy College to open the minds of so many of our students.  With knowledge and motivation, the possibilities are endless.”

“Westchester Community College is uniquely positioned to help our many talented Hispanic and underrepresented students pursue STEM careers. The college’s partnership with Mercy College and our seven StepUP high schools will provide rigorous academic preparation for successful transition into college and transfer into baccalaureate degree programs. We are proud to work with Mercy College to increase access and success to STEM careers for all of those who seek relevant education, including Hispanic and low-income students,” said Dr. Belinda. S. Miles, President of Westchester Community College

In the United States, more than half of the five million currently open jobs involve information technology. In the Lower Hudson Valley, there are more than 2,500 unfilled positions in fields that require a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, such as health care and software engineering.

Team STEM will focus on two- and four-year Hispanic and/or low-income undergraduates seeking to complete a bachelor’s degree within six years in one of six STEM disciplines offered at Mercy College: Biology, Psychology, Mathematics, Computer Science, Computer Information Science, and Cybersecurity.  Team STEM will offer three all-new student-centered initiatives designed to improve the persistence, retention and graduations rates of Hispanic and low-income STEM students.

In addition, Team STEM will capitalize on the long-standing articulation agreements between Mercy College and WCC by jointly sponsoring new activities designed to facilitate the seamless transfer of Hispanic and low-income two-year students into Mercy College’s STEM baccalaureate programs. Highlights of these new, student–centered activities include personalized advising; Mercy-WCC peer mentoring; summer bridge programs focused on acclimating to college; and undergraduate research and internship opportunities. Once enrolled at Mercy, Team STEM students will also have full access to traditional student support services.

Westchester Community College is SUNY’s first Hispanic Serving Institution and the county’s largest college. The Mercy College/Westchester Community College Transfer Pipeline will increase the number of WCC students who successfully transition from our StepUP high school partners to WCC, and then on to Mercy College to earn a dual degree AS/BS in a STEM major.

The HSI STEM and Articulation Programs are run through the U.S. Department of Education. The goals of these programs are to increase the number of Hispanic and  low-income students attaining degrees in the fields of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics; and  to develop model transfer and articulation agreements between two-year and four-year institutions in such fields.

Photos available HERE

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