Public Affairs, The California State University

CSU Garners $4.6 MIL Grant to Support Students in STEM Fields

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CSU commits to dramatic increase in graduates in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math

Committed to helping meet the nation’s goal of producing one million science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) professionals over the next decade, the California State University will accelerate its implementation of high-impact practices that support persistence to degree completion among all students with a $4.6 million grant from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. The award will fund CSU STEM Collaboratives  to provide immersive educational STEM experiences beginning the summer before college and continuing through the entire first year at the CSU.

“Support from the Helmsley Charitable Trust is vital to the CSU’s development of high-touch programs that will expand the diversity and scope of the STEM workforce pipeline,” said Ephraim P. Smith, CSU Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer. “Actively engaging first-generation STEM majors is the first step in creating professionals who solve the complex problems of today and transform the communities of tomorrow.”

From April 2014 to February 2017, at least eight CSU campuses will integrate and scale up intensive summer-through-first-year-programs. These experiences will actively engage students in STEM through hands-on projects that are particularly effective among STEM majors from underrepresented backgrounds, eligible for federal financial aid or the first in their families to attend college.

STEM Collaboratives will incorporate instruction, advising and activities that stimulate students’ commitment, determination and perseverance during the summer and the student’s first year. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in civic engagement, service learning, learning communities and undergraduate research—all high-impact practices that lead to student success. The initiative includes a strong research and evaluation component, so that those practices shown to improve STEM learning outcomes may be brought to systemwide scale.

“It is critical for the global competitiveness of the United States and for the futures of individual students that we work together to support efforts to ensure that a more diverse set of students attains degrees in the STEM disciplines,” said Ryan Kelsey, Program Officer of the Helmsley Charitable Trust’s Education Program. “We are thrilled to support the California State University system, which has the ability to model systemic reforms at a large scale that will contribute to the increasing national effort to help more students succeed in STEM careers.”


About the California State University
The California State University is the largest system of senior higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, approximately 447,000 students and 45,000 faculty and staff. The CSU awards more than 100,000 degrees annually and since its creation in 1961 has conferred nearly 2.9 million. The CSU is renowned for the quality of its teaching and for the job-ready graduates it produces. The mission of the CSU is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever changing needs of the people of California. With its commitment to excellence, diversity and innovation, the CSU is the university system that is working for California. Connect with and learn more about the CSU at CSU Social Media. Show how the CSU matters to you and take action.

About the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust
The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust aspires to improve lives by supporting effective nonprofits in health, place-based initiatives, and education and human services. Since 2008, when the Trust began its active grantmaking, it has committed more than $1 billion to a wide range of charitable organizations. The Trust’s Education Program seeks to advance American economic competitiveness as well as individual social mobility. In higher education, the goal of the Trust’s grantmaking is to increase the number of college graduates in STEM fields. The program focuses on supporting networks of institutions committed to improving instructional practices, primarily for gateway courses, and on incentivizing the adoption of model policies, practices, and systems that improve student retention and completion, particularly for underrepresented students.