A $2.4 million federal grant is aiming to increase the number of African American and low-income students in STEM and allied health graduate programs at Winston-Salem State University (WSSU).
The six-year grant, from the U.S. Department of Education HBCU Graduate Fellowship, will provide scholarships, tutoring, and support for WSSU students and faculty in six STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and healthcare graduate programs, said Dr. Peggy Valentine, dean of the School of Health Sciences and principal investigator (PI) for the grant.
The grant, which is from 2017-23, already is having an impact, said Dr. Yolanda Edwards, chair and professor of rehabilitation counseling and the co-PI on the grant. For spring semester, the grant funded 38 graduate student fellowships or scholarships.
“The dearth of minorities, especially African Americans, in the STEM and allied health fields is well documented,” Edwards said. “This grant will strengthen graduate education at WSSU and help to attract and retain a diverse population of graduate students. This grant also will help WSSU to address the workforce need for qualified professionals in these high-demand fields.”
These six WSSU graduate programs will benefit from the grant:
- Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT)
- Master of Science in Healthcare Administration (MHA)
- Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
- Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling (MSRC)
- Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)
- Master of Science in Computer Science and Information Technology (MCST)
Additional scholarship funding will be available for new students enrolling in these programs in the fall.
The grant also will be used to purchase software to create a virtual anatomy and physiology lab to enhance teaching by creating a 3D learning environment for students. The lab will be housed in WSSU’s $53 million sciences building, which is expected to open in late 2019.
WSSU is no. 2 in the University of North Carolina System for students receiving the highest salary after earning a graduate degree, according to the North Carolina Department of Commerce. WSSU offers more than 10 high-value master’s and doctoral-level programs. For more information, visit www.wssu.edu/masters.
About Winston-Salem State University
Winston-Salem State University fosters the creative thinking, analytical problem-solving, and depth of character needed to transform the world. Rooted in liberal education, WSSU’s curriculum prepares students to be thought leaders who have the skills and knowledge needed to develop innovative solutions to complex problems. Founded in 1892, WSSU is a historically Black constituent institution of the University of North Carolina with a rich tradition of contributing to the social, cultural, intellectual, and economic growth of North Carolina, the region and beyond. Guided by the motto, “Enter to Learn, Depart to Serve,” WSSU develops leaders who advance social justice by serving the world with compassion and commitment.