S-STEM | EMPLOYEE
NSF Scholarships in STEM (S-STEM) | EMPLOYEE Program
|Program Overview||Eligibility Requirements||Supervising Faculty|
|Scholar Benefits||Application Information|
This project will contribute to the national need for well-educated scientists, mathematicians, engineers, and technicians by supporting the retention and graduation of high-achieving, low-income students with demonstrated financial need at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO). UNO is a metropolitan university that pursues excellence in teaching, research, and service to provide an educated workforce and citizenry to the region. Over its five-year duration, this project will fund four-year scholarships to 24 students who are pursuing a bachelor’s degree in biology, chemistry, environmental studies, geology, molecular and biomedical biology, bioinformatics, neuroscience, or physics.
The EMPLOYEE project will provide innovative professional development opportunities that prepare students for the 21st century employment in science using a locally developed mentoring and teaching model (i.e., NE STEM 4U) combined with carefully designed course-based undergraduate research experiences. NE STEM 4U is a locally established, student-led, and faculty-supported UNO program that enhances student retention and success in the STEM disciplines. The program very actively engages undergraduates in teaching and mentoring K-8 students in an afterschool program of problem-based learning STEM lessons in the Omaha Public School district. This large school district (nearly 50,000 youth) is highly diverse and where almost 75% of the students are economically disadvantaged. Over 90 different languages and dialects are spoken by the students.
Through NE STEM 4U, this project will contribute to an understanding of how to improve STEM learning, not only for undergraduate students but for all learners. At the same time, this project will generate a STEM pipeline from K-8 through college and into the workforce.
The overall goal of this project is to increase STEM degree completion of low-income, high-achieving undergraduates with demonstrated financial need. Specifically, this project aims to strengthen the STEM workforce by using scholarship funding coupled with a locally developed, successful mentoring and teaching model (e.g., NE STEM 4U) and course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs). NE STEM 4U engages undergraduates in teaching and mentoring K-8 youth in an after school program of problem-based learning STEM lessons in the Omaha Public School district.
Both NE STEM 4U and CUREs incorporate strategies that have been shown to be effective in increasing student retention and success in the STEM disciplines. However, low-income, academically talented students have not been specifically investigated. This project will determine the combined effect (be that synergistic or not) of low-income, academically talented students participating in a mentorship and teaching intervention, as well as CURE-based coursework. Results of the project will contribute to an understanding of how to improve STEM learning not only for undergraduate students but for all learners.
Furthermore, the project has the potential to generate a robust STEM pipeline by encouraging youth in K-8 to consider science as a field via the mentorship of undergraduates of similar backgrounds. If an intervention such as NE STEM 4U can help to address local STEM learning challenges and to enhance the STEM pipeline, while also helping to retain undergraduate STEM majors, it will represent a vertically integrated project to be embraced as a national model worthy of replication. The effectiveness of the project will be evaluated using a convergent typological model inclusive of mixed methods allowing quantitative and qualitative analyses.
Results of this project will be made available at local, regional, and national meetings as well as by publication in education and discipline-specific journals. This project is funded by NSF’s Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics program, which seeks to increase the number of low-income academically talented students with demonstrated financial need who earn degrees in STEM fields. It also aims to improve the education of future STEM workers and to generate knowledge about academic success, retention, transfer, graduation, and academic/career pathways of low-income students.
Information for Prospective Students
Download our quick-reference S-STEM EMPLOYEE flier!
- Up to $7000 per year for four years to complete a bachelor's degree
- Support and common coursework with other EMPLOYEE scholars
- Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences (CUREs)
- Professional development
- Opportunities for service
- First-year students (freshman or sophomore standing) majoring in one of UNO's undergraduate STEM programs
- Interest in pursuing a STEM career
- Cumulative GPA 3.3 or better (High school GPA if undergraduate GPA unavailable)
- Demonstrate financial need
- US Citizen, permanent resident, or refugee
To apply to be an S-STEM EMPLOYEE Scholar, please complete and submit the online application form. Scholarships are reviewed on a rolling basis, the next cohort will begin Fall 2021, with Spring 2021 review. Apply early for consideration. If you have questions and/or need additional information, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “S-STEM student inquiry.”
Principal Investigator: Christine Cutucache
Co-Principal Investigators: Sacha Kopp, Claudia Rauter, John Conrad, and Kelly Gomez-Johnson
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. DUE-1929154.