UTICA – Nearly $400,000 has been awarded to Hinds Community College Utica Campus to fortify its already robust math and science program.
The funding comes from the National Science Foundation and will support the Targeted Infusion Project, which aims to find and keep students interested in science, technology, engineering or math careers. Students are prepared to accelerate through developmental math courses in order to complete their associate degree and transfer to four-year institutions.
“We are very excited about this Targeted Infusion Project,” said Dr. Debra Mays-Jackson, vice president of the Utica and Vicksburg/Warren campuses. “The Utica Campus of Hinds Community College will use these funds to continue strengthening our STEM initiative and support students’ interest in math and science. We are a community college that is proud to be innovators in this multifaceted career choice.”
The Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP) through Targeted Infusion Projects supports the development, implementation, and study of evidence-based innovative models and approaches for improving the preparation and success of HBCU undergraduate students so that they may pursue STEM graduate programs and/or careers.
At the Utica Campus, the project seeks to establish strategies to strengthen interventions and instruction to enhance student performance of high school and college students in mathematics. Specifics of the award from the independent federal agency mention 99 percent of the Utica Campus is African-American, with 64 percent being first-generation college students.
A four-point strategy to achieve goals in the project consists of (1) increasing high school students’ test scores on state assessments, performance-based assessments, ACT and the ACCUPLACER placement exam; (2) improve performance in developmental and college-level math courses; (3) increase awareness and interest of STEM education and careers; and (4) create a dynamic teaching and learning community that improves performance in developmental and non-developmental math courses and which transforms the Hinds Community College-Utica Campus academic/educational environment.
The project will be co-directed by Dr. Mitchell Shears, executive director of Title III (HBCU) and Sponsored Grants, who was academic dean at the time of the grant submission, and Mathematics Instructor Willie Perkins. Additionally, other members of the mathematics team, Demonia Hodge and Stephanie Williams, and the new academic dean, Dr. Marquise Loving, will be instrumental in implementing the project.