FVSU Awarded More than $1 Million to Increase STEM Enrollment

Project funded will diversify the number of graduates with STEM degrees, particularly in mathematics

Sep. 20, 2022

Fort Valley State University has been awarded $1,399,964 from the National Science Foundation Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) program to increase the number of low-income, academically talented students who earn degrees in STEM fields.

The grant will also help with recruitment, retention and graduation in the Math program at FVSU.

Overall, the Driving Math competence through STEM modeling (D’MCS) project will assist in preparing students to become outstanding STEM professionals and researchers who are able to solve real-world problems with mathematics. The project findings will help to improve the retention rate of low-income, academically talented students in STEM.

“With this grant, FVSU will increase the STEM degree completion of high-achieving undergraduates who may not have an opportunity to pursue or achieve a STEM degree,” said Olufunke Fontenot, Ed.D. “Dr. Grant took the lead to secure this grant during a critical time for the Math program. She exemplifies the best in FVSU faculty and staff.”

The project also aims to improve the education of future STEM workers and to generate knowledge about academic success, retention, transfer, graduation, and academic/career pathways of low-income students.

Shanah K. Grant, Ph.D., alumna and FVSU Department of Mathematics and Computer Science faculty, served as the PI for the grant and developed the D’MCS project.

“With this grant, FVSU will be able to make a huge impact on our future generation of STEM leaders,” said Shanah K. Grant, Ph.D., assistant professor of mathematics. “The D’MCS grant will open doors for talented students who may not have thought it was possible to go to college.”

Co-principal investigators include professors Dwyane Daniels, Ph.D., Jianmin Zhu, Ph.D., Patcharin Marion, Ph.D., and Provost Olufunke Fontenot, Ed.D.

According to Diverse Issues in Higher Education, FVSU is a top 20 producer of African Americans with bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and statistics. While FVSU has been a leading institution for graduating Black students with undergraduate mathematics degrees, the number of graduates has been small, while the need for more highly qualified Black workers in STEM fields is great.

FVSU aims to contribute to the national need for well-educated scientists, mathematicians, engineers and technicians. Students can now apply for the D’MCS scholarship. For a complete list of requirements and to apply, click here: https://fvsu.presence.io/form/dmcs-scholarship-application. The deadline to apply for Spring 2023 enrollment is November 15, 2022, and the deadline to apply for Fall 2023 is February 15, 2023.