FT LAUDERDALE - Nova Southeastern University (NSU) recently received a $2.87-million dollar Title V grant from the U.S. Department of Education to increase academic opportunities for Hispanic students and other minorities.
The 5-year grant is designed to help more students succeed in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). More specifically, the grant aims to increase enrollment, retention and graduation rates of Hispanics and other students at NSU’s Oceanographic Center, which focuses heavily on science and research.
Data from the federal government indicates that graduation rates in STEM-oriented programs for Hispanics, African Americans, and Native Americas are disproportionately low.
The U.S. Department of Education’s Title V grant program helps eligible institutions of higher education enhance and expand their capacity to serve Hispanic and low-income students by providing funds to improve and strengthen academic quality. The grants are awarded to colleges and universities that serve Hispanic students.
The Oceanographic Center plans to use its Title V grant for the following:
• A Fellows program
• Improving the admissions process
• Making enrollment information more accessible
• A new web portal targeting Hispanics
• Enhancing faculty development
• Boosting outreach services
• A new graduate student center
• A new faculty and peer mentoring program
• Increasing curriculum, co-curricular, and extra-curricular activities
"These are exciting times for the academic programs of the Oceanographic Center,” said Richard E. Dodge, Ph.D., dean of the Oceanographic Center (OC) and executive director of NSU’s National Coral Reef Institute.
“Coming on the heels of receiving a major $15-million federal grant to build the nation's first dedicated and largest coral reef research center at the OC, the Center of Excellence in Coral Reef Ecosystems Science, this grant will help train more Hispanics and other students to become outstanding marine biologists and oceanographers,” Dodge said. “The Title V grant recognizes the importance of research and education in developing solutions to sustain our important coastal ecosystems.
Dodge went on to say, “We appreciate the help of our Florida Congressional Delegation and especially Rep. Ron Klein and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz in securing this grant, recognizing the important linkage of our economy and environment, and working to support these programs on behalf of South Florida.”
Wasserman Schultz said the Title V Grant will also provide funding for students, faculty, and research scientists needed to fill the OC’s new coral reef research center, which is expected to open in 2011. "We continue to work hard to bring resources to our region that create immediate jobs and have a lasting impact on our economy,” she said.
Larry Calderon, NSU’s vice president for community and governmental affairs, was instrumental in helping the OC secure the Title V Grant. The grant’s project director is Richard Spieler, Ph.D., professor and director of academic programs at the Oceanographic Center.
This is the fourth Title V Grant awarded to NSU. It previously received $8.3 million to boost academic programs at its Fischler School of Education and Human Services and Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences.
NSU awards more post-graduate and first professional degrees to Hispanic students than any other university in the nation.
About Nova Southeastern University: Situated on 300 beautiful acres in Davie, Florida, Nova Southeastern University is a dynamic fully accredited institution dedicated to providing high-quality educational programs of distinction from preschool through the professional and doctoral levels. NSU has more than 29,000 students and is the seventh largest not-for-profit independent institution nationally. The university awards associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, specialist, doctoral, and first-professional degrees in a wide range of fields, including business, counseling, computer and information sciences, education, medicine, optometry, pharmacy, dentistry, various health professions, law, marine sciences, early childhood, psychology and other social sciences.