Notre Dame de Namur University Receives $2.9 Million Grant from U.S. Department of Education to Boost Science and Technology Studies for Hispanic and Low Income Students

Belmont, CA, September 27, 2011—Notre Dame de Namur University has received a $2.9 million grant from the United States Department of Education to fund an expansion of services to Hispanic students and other underserved populations interested in careers in science and technology. The grant was awarded under the department’s Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and Articulation programs. NDNU is the only four-year, private university in Northern California to hold the HSI designation, which means that at least 25 percent of its undergraduate population is composed of students who identify themselves as Hispanic.

The grant, which will be paid out over five years, will finance the university’s “Building a Pipeline to STEM Success at Notre Dame de Namur” project, which aims to:

  • increase the number of Hispanic and other low-income students attaining degrees in the STEM fields at NDNU by providing  increased academic support, including new equipment; professional development for instructors; mentoring, and other programs
  • create model transfer and articulation agreements between NDNU and 2-year Hispanic-Serving Institutions, such as Cañada College in Redwood City, CA., which make it easier for students at community colleges to know exactly which courses they must take to qualify to transfer to NDNU
  • improve data collection and analysis to improve Hispanic and other low-income NDNU students’ educational outcomes related to enrollment, persistence, and completion

“NDNU has a strong record of service to Latino and other underserved populations,” said NDNU President Judith Maxwell Greig, PhD. “Two years ago we launched our Gen-1 program to improve the retention and success of first generation students, most of whom are Latino/Latina. This grant will allow us to greatly expand those services, specifically for students interested in careers in science and technology.”

In its application the university noted it expects the data collection and analysis it has planned to lead to new knowledge and better methods of serving Hispanic and other low-income students majoring in STEM fields. NDNU offers majors in Biology, Biochemistry, Kinesiology and Computer and Information Science.