Phoenix College Awarded $1.5 Million to Support Minority STEM Education

National Science Foundation


Phoenix College Awarded $1.5 Million to Support Minority STEM Education

TEMPE, Arizona, August 15, 2018 – The National Science Foundation (NSF) has announced its first research awards under its Improving Undergraduate STEM Education: Hispanic-Serving Institutions program, (HSI Program). Phoenix College, part of the Maricopa County Community College system, will receive $1,499,985.00 to support integrating research, mentoring, and industry collaborations to improve STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) recruitment and retention.

Phoenix College is one of 31 educational institutions selected, including five community colleges, to receive a total of $45 million in funding as part of NSF’s HSI Program.

"NSF has a long history of funding individual researchers and projects at HSIs," said Jim Lewis, acting NSF assistant director for Education and Human Resources. "This new program seeks to support growth at HSIs that have traditionally lacked federal resources, to assure that they can encourage the development of scientists and engineers."

The project at Phoenix College will advance the aims of the HSI Program by incorporating multi-disciplinary Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experiences (CUREs) into STEM curricula in colleges throughout the district. Specific goals of the project include:

  • Promote increased interest in STEM disciplines, especially among students from groups that are underrepresented in STEM.
  • Increase recruitment and retention of students in introductory STEM courses.
  • Increase the number of students from two-year HSIs who transfer into STEM degree programs at four-year institutions.
  • Establish cross-sector partnerships with industry to improve workforce readiness and promote interest in STEM careers among two-year HSI students.

In the U.S., Hispanics constitute 16 percent of the U.S. workforce, but they make up only 6 percent of the U.S. science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce. More than 60 percent of Hispanic students attend HSIs. The National Science Foundation HSI Program invests in projects that build capacity and increase retention and graduation rates for STEM students at HSIs. It also aims to build capacity at HSIs with little or no prior NSF funding.

Read the full list of NSF 2018 awards and recipient institutions here.

Click to tweet: @PhoenixCollege awarded $1.5 Million to Support Minority STEM Education. @NSF @mcccd #NSFfunded


Media Contact: Erika Keenan, 602-285-7842,

About Phoenix College

Phoenix College is one of the 10 colleges in the Maricopa County Community College District, one of the largest community college districts in the nation. Phoenix College offers academic courses leading to associate degrees, university transfer, certificates and short-term job training to more than 11,000 students annually.

About National Science Foundation

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2018, its budget is $7.8 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities, and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 50,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards.