ASU, other colleges share $3 mill. grant

Posted by: John Shryock - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Alabama State University and other researchers in an Alabama educational alliance have received a $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation to help Alabama students with disabilities earn college degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics and ultimately enter the workforce.

The funding was granted to the Alabama Alliance for Students with Disabilities in STEM-science, technology, engineering and mathematics - which is a collaborative effort involving Alabama State University, Auburn University, Auburn University Montgomery, Tuskegee University, Central Alabama Community College, Southern Union State Community College and the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind. The alliance also includes six school districts in Lee, Chambers, Elmore, Montgomery, Macon and Tallapoosa counties and has an outreach component that covers the entire state.

The grant will fund peer-mentoring endeavors such as Bridge to the Baccalaureate and Bridge to the Post-Baccalaureate programs, as well as a Graduate Bridge program and summer research internships. It will also provide mini-grants for research-based interventions at colleges and universities and will fund technology enhancements for Alabama Science in Motion, a program that provides high-tech laboratory experiences for high school students and professional development for teachers throughout the state.

"The Alabama Alliance partners are eager to help make a difference in the lives and education of students with disabilities through the efforts of this grant," said Carl S. Pettis, interim chair of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Alabama State University.

Undergraduate students with disabilities participating in the Bridge programs will receive a renewable $2,000 stipend per academic year while participants in the Graduate Bridge program and summer research internships will receive $3,500 each. The Alabama alliance, one of nine such National Science Foundation-sponsored alliances in the country, will support 106 students with disabilities majoring in science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines each year.

Dr. Carl S. Pettis, Assistant Professor of Mathematics and interim chair of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, is Alabama State University's principal investigator for the project.  Dr. Cleon Barnett, assistant professor of Physics, and Dr. Michelle J. Foster, associate professor of Mathematics, will serve as senior personnel on the project and work closely with Deborah Anderson, the director of Disability Services at Alabama State University.

Information Courtesy: Alabama State University

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