In an effort to boost science, technology, engineering and math education, especially for Hispanic-American students, the U.S. Department of Educationhas awarded a $6 million grant to Hillsborough Community College.

Supporting STEM education aids in the quest to provide higher-wage jobs for Tampa-area graduates, said U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, in announcing the grant for HCC.

“Investments in a well-educated STEM workforce keep our region and nation competitive in the global marketplace,” Castor said. “Today’s STEM students are the researchers, scientists, doctors and engineers of tomorrow.”

It is a five-year grant at $5.98 million, the largest in the school’s history, according to HCC President Ken Atwater. The college plans to use the grant to improve the STEM prep pipeline — from developmental math through bachelor’s degree completion.

The grant came from the U.S DOE’s Hispanic-Serving Institutions and Articulation Program. This program aims to expand opportunities for Hispanic Americans and other underrepresented populations, a statement said. Hispanic students are less likely to earn a degree or certificate in a STEM field, according to the DOE.

HCC has more than 44,000 students; 28 percent of them are Hispanic Americans, according to the statement.

By:  Pam Huff
Tampa Bay Business Journal