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PEARL: Pathways for Engineering: Access to Resources for Learning Scholarships Project


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Academic Level:
Undergraduates - First Year
Undergraduates - Sophomore
Undergraduates - Junior
Undergraduates - Senior

Description:
Northern New Mexico College (NNMC) has a total enrollment of 1,824 students. Before taking the initial step toward declaring a degree, most of these students have faced, and overcome, significant barriers and adversity. A typical NNMC student?s family household has an average income of $18,017, and lives in a rural area with 10.2% unemployment (REDI, 2009). Most (83%) qualify for financial aid and 80% are first generation college students. Few role models exist for these students in their pursuit of a college degree, and often family members fail to grasp their child?s potential or their need to dedicate time to prepare for classes. As a result, many students must steal time to study and defy the embedded resistance to a higher education. Most students (66%) are, out of necessity, employed in full-time or part-time jobs. NNMC has an unusually high percentage of minority students, including Hispanics (83%), Native American (9%) and females (66.3%). A third of them are single parents and susceptible to the parental pressures of providing child-care and fulfilling the enormous responsibilities that accompany single-parenting.

Because of the isolation of this region, for men and women who aspire to go to college and who strive to transcend the boundaries of minimum wage and dead-end jobs, NNMC is a highly accessible way out, and a foundation for the way forward. The goal of NNMC is not only to provide quality education to the region?s minority students, but also to improve their quality of life, in general, by equipping them with all of the tools they will need to excel at different levels. Scholarships provided through this PEARL grant will allow all recipients to pursue advanced degrees in engineering, or find rewarding and challenging employment in research-oriented industries, which would not otherwise be possible.

The PEARL project is designed to fulfill the major goals of the S-STEM program. By providing students with the opportunity to obtain a Bachelor?s degree in Engineering, and strongly encouraging and mentoring students to continue their education beyond the baccalaureate degree, this project will help to fulfill a major goal of the S-STEM program, i.e. to improve the educational opportunities for STEM students. By increasing the retention rate of our students and ensuring that students complete the degree requirements in a reasonable timeframe, this project will fulfill a second major goal of S-STEM, i.e. to increase the retention of students to degree achievement. By giving students an opportunity to become involved in research projects, offering tutoring and inviting established researchers to visit the programs, this project will fulfill the third major goal of S-STEM, i.e. improving student support programs at institutions of higher learning. Finally, by stimulating the critical thinking skills of students, engaging students in the process of scientific inquiry and maintaining the quality of the program, PEARL will fulfill the fourth major goal of S-STEM, i.e. to increase the numbers of well-educated and skilled employees in technical areas of national need.


Participating Institution(s):
(Click an institution to see all programs it hosts)
Northern New Mexico College (Lead)

Program Materials:
 • Program Website 

This Program can be Described by:
Academic Disciplines:
Information Sciences
Mechanical & Industrial Engineering

Keywords:
Computer Networking
Cyber Security
Electromechanics
Solar Energy

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This program is funded by:
National Science Foundation (NSF)


Page last updated 7/23/2018
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