UNM Student Services, under the Division of Student Affairs, was recently awarded a U.S. Department of Education HSI Title V Part A grant for $2.6 million. The five-year grant is awarded to higher education institutions to increase their capacity to serve Hispanic, low income and high need students.

“The grant will be used to fund a STEM Collaboration Center (STCC),” said Tim Gutierrez, associate vice president for Student Services, and PI of the grant.

The STCC is designed to serve two crucial missions. The first is improving the attainment of STEM degrees for Hispanic, low-income or high-need students by creating collaborative student support programs designed for first and second year students. The second is improving STEM institutional efficiency by reducing duplication of services, monitoring and achieving STEM goals, and developing shared collaboration and accountability tools. 

STCC Director Tim Schroeder said, “STCC programming is designed to keep students connected to their STEM aspirations during the first two years and expand their awareness of STEM disciplines and professions.”

Programs include: STEM Summer, which will provide first and second year students the opportunity to explore STEM disciplines and plan for their STEM degree completion. STEM Graduate will support the Office of Student Academic Success in their efforts to assist STEM students who have either stopped attending UNM prior to completing their degrees or are taking longer than expected. Discover STEM Conference will help STEM students to explore career options and to learn about emerging technologies. Finally, STEM Leadership Academy, conducted in collaboration with El Centro and University College, will encourage students to strengthen their skills related to information literacy, organizational leadership and scientific presentation. 

STCC is also designed to promote collaboration between UNM programs by creating a Provost Committee on STEM Success (PCSS), which will report to the Provost’s Committee on Academic Success. This committee, which includes cross-institutional representation by students, faculty, administration and staff, will develop collaborative projects and tools designed to improve UNM’s STEM graduation rates.      

"The design of the STEM Collaboration Center meets a number of University priorities, including a focus on impacting the experiences of first- and second-year students, and the development of a number of exciting and critical STEM student support programs. Over the past several years, we have worked tirelessly to improve our first-year experience, as part of the Foundations of Excellence initiative, and the STEM Collaboration Center is taking up several of the STEM-focused efforts related to the first year,” said Provost & Executive Vice President for Academic AffairsChaouki Abdallah.

“We are excited about receiving this award and feel that this is a great opportunity for the University. This project will be led by Tim Schroeder, who has vast experience working in this area,” Gutierrez said. “I am particularly excited about the possibilities this grant will afford our students.”

For more information about the STCC, contact Schroeder, (505) 277-1761 or email, timschroeder@unm.edu