RCSJ-Cumberland Receives $2.1 Million STEM Grant from National Science Foundation

By: Jaina Louise Winston, Writer / Follow South Jersey Community Services Intern

Photo: Jon Bradley | Follow South Jersey

VINELAND, N.J. — Recently, the National Science Foundation awarded Rowan College of South Jersey’s Cumberland Campus a seven-figure grant to assist students within the STEM program. Specifically, the college has a project called “Adelante Juntos,” which translates to “moving forward together.”

Through their studies as undergraduate STEM students studying at the community college level, Hispanic students will be able to continue their academic career by pursuing a bachelor’s degree thanks to the new program.

RCSJ’s Cumberland Campus has invested time and money into the STEM program to ensure student success. The program encourages student success particularly in under-served, underrepresented demographics like the Hispanic community. Through an enhanced learning experience, the “Adelante Juntos” project is increasing enrollment and retention rates, as well as two-year and four-year degree completion rates. The program has also established several transfer programs to ease the transition into the STEM courses. Easing the transition into the courses allows for STEM career placement for students that will eventually enter the workforce.

“With support from the ‘Improving Undergraduate STEM Education for Hispanic Serving Institutions’ program, the ‘Adelante Juntos’ project seeks to develop and generate best practices on a culturally-inclusive STEM career pathway model with a focus on cybersecurity and engineering technology,” project director Maud Goodnight, Ed.D., said in a press release. “Cybersecurity and engineering technology are two extremely valuable programs that lead to excellent career placement opportunities”

The five-year, $2.14 million grant was awarded to the college in hopes to increase and maintain diversity throughout the STEM program.

“Our Adelante Juntos students will have opportunities for course-based undergraduate research and experiential learning, which will help them gain valuable skills for a brighter future.” Goodnight said.

Those who are already admitted into Rowan College of South Jersey’s Cumberland Campus may attend a virtual New Student Orientation to meet STEM advisors for selecting classes. If new students wish to enroll, students should visit the college’s website.

This article was produced by a Follow South Jersey news intern thanks to a grant provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation through the New Jersey Health Initiatives program to create hyper-local news to meet the informational and health needs of the City of Bridgeton, N.J.