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San Jacinto College wins national award for outstanding STEM education

College recognized for programs that build career pathways for diverse populations

PASADENA, Texas – The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program and the Siemens Foundation have awarded San Jacinto College with the Excellence and Equity in Community College STEM Award for the College’s associate degree nursing and process technology programs.

Eight winning programs from seven community colleges across the country are receiving this award for providing outstanding preparation for high-demand jobs in advanced manufacturing, energy, health care, and information technology. Additionally, these community college programs are also being nationally recognized for their intentional outreach and support of diverse populations that typically are underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers. San Jacinto College is the only institution to receive the award for two programs.

Each winning program will receive $50,000, with half of the funds allocated for program development and the other half allocated as scholarships for outstanding students, known as Siemens Technical Scholars.

“San Jacinto College utilizes a holistic approach for equity in access and success to ensure that all students have an opportunity to earn a higher education credential,” said Chancellor Dr. Brenda Hellyer. “We are incredibly thankful and grateful to the Aspen Institute and the Siemens Foundation for this award, and for recognizing San Jacinto College faculty and staff for the important work they do every day to ensure our students succeed.”

FILLING THE WORKFORCE PIPELINE

Overall, U.S. jobs in STEM fields are projected to grow at almost double the rate of non-STEM occupations. More than half of all STEM jobs across the United States only require an associate degree and pay wages that average more than $50,000 annually.

The community colleges honored with the Excellence and Equity in Community College STEM Award are playing a unique role in working to meet this demand. The selection committee identified exemplary programs that deliver exceptional training for jobs that require strong STEM technical skills, some classroom hands-on training, and a postsecondary credential below a four-year degree. These programs also demonstrated an emphasis in successfully reaching and supporting populations that are underrepresented in STEM fields, such as students of color, low-income students, and females.

“Community college STEM programs are a strong pathway to job security and financial success for many students, whether that means heading right into a great paying job or getting a more advanced degree,” said David Etzwiler, CEO of the Siemens Foundation. “This award recognizes the colleges that provide an excellent STEM education and develop talent from every community.”

As part of the award, San Jacinto College, in partnership with the Aspen Institute, will select students to be recognized as Siemens Technical Scholars and receive a scholarship of $3,500 to $10,000 to continue their education or pay student loan debt. These diverse scholars will share their stories with their peers to demonstrate the economic opportunity available in STEM careers.

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