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Fayatteville State University Wins $749,994 Grant to Broaden STEM from Dept of Education



FSU News

CDHS partners with the School of Education to Win $749,994 Grant from the Department of Education to Broaden the Participation of Students with Disabilities in STEM

September 26, 2014 

Fayetteville State University’s (FSU) Center for Defense and Homeland Security (CDHS), in collaboration with the School of Education, developed a winning proposal in response to the U.S. Department of Education’s Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program. This proposal was developed by former and current CDHS Scholars, Dr. Kelly Charles and Dr. Marlina Duncan.

Project “Science, Technology, Engineering, Advocacy and Mathematics (STEAM)” is designed to equip post-secondary and college-level students with diagnosed disabilities (i.e. students identified as disabled Veterans, wounded service members, and those from other underrepresented gender and minority groups) with the necessary skills and advocacy strategies required to compete favorably with non-disabled or non-minority workers in STEM-related career fields or graduate programs, including those related to defense and homeland security. Project STEAM will provide an enhanced learning environment through better trained STEM faculty in areas like differentiated instruction, transition support for students with exceptional learning needs and their families, as well as mentoring and learning community engagement for students who might be considered non-competitive on a customary STEM career path.

This Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program STEAM grant will also facilitate institutional transformation in terms of teaching capabilities, commensurate with the mission statement of Fayetteville State University, which states that “Committed to excellence in teaching, research, scholarship and service, the university extends its services and programs to the community, including the military and other educational institutions throughout North Carolina, the nation, and the world.”

“Support of the STEAM Project by the Department of Education will improve the quality of STEM education, increase enrollment, retention, persistence, and graduation of undergraduate,” said FSU Chancellor James Anderson. “With a stronger STEM background, these students will be exceptionally well prepared for graduate school and be highly competitive for graduate fellowships as well as become major contributors to the Nation’s STEM workforce.”

“Project STEAM is intended to address the CDHS’ focus area of STEM education and outreach which has objectives that will inspire students, parents, teachers, and the public to engage in STEM discovery and innovation; develop a future world-class STEM workforce talent pool; facilitate curricular innovations that will increase the number, quality and diversity of mathematics and science faculty, especially among underserved populations; and provide support for military personnel with STEM competencies who have a desire to transition into defense and homeland security workforce,” said Dr. Curtis Charles, Senior Associate Vice Chancellor for Institutional Transformation, and Executive Director, Center for Defense and Homeland Security.

Dr. Leontye Lewis, Dean of the School of Education also added that the STEAM grant provides a great opportunity for individuals with special needs, with affiliation to the military, and from underrepresented backgrounds to expand their opportunities and develop a commitment to STEM. “This grant will afford FSU the opportunity to apply instructional practices and resources that will support the needs of these students and guide them to success in STEM,” she said.

The CDHS’s 22-interdisciplinary scholars facilitate curricular innovations, research and partnerships in the areas of cybersecurity threats, national security challenges, emergency management and STEM education and outreach in preparing the next generation of STEM graduates and national security professionals. The CDHS leverages its partnerships with the military commands, National Laboratories, as well as, local and national defense businesses to expand the level and diversity of research in areas impacting defense and security, and to bring more external funding to the university in the form of contracts and grants. Over the past two years, three CDHS scholars, and eight STEM students have conducted summer research at MIT Lincoln Lab and Oakridge National Lab, while CDHS scholars have collectively published more than 75 peer-review journal articles in their disciplines.

The School of Education at Fayetteville State University is one of the oldest and most respected schools of education in this region. The School has maintained continued accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) since 1954. The School of Education is committed to preparing highly qualified teachers and other school personnel through the development, administration, supervision, and evaluation of initial and advanced programs offered and is home to three departments: Educational Leadership; Elementary Education; and Middle Grades, Secondary, and Specialized Subjects. All teacher education programs are approved by the North Carolina State Board of Education.

FSU is a constituent institution of The University of North Carolina and the second-oldest public institution of higher education in the state. FSU offers nearly 60 degrees at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. With nearly 5,000 students, Fayetteville State University is among the most diverse institutions in the nation.


For more information, call (910) 672-1474.

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