NSF Awards Grant to College
LONGMEADOW, MA—The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently awarded a grant of $505,920 to Bay Path College to support scholarships and activities designed to attract and retain undergraduate women, and in particular minority students, in biology, biotechnology, and forensic science. This is the first NSF grant, as well as one of the largest foundation grants given to the College.
Financial Assistance For Students: Scholarships of up to $10,000 per year for 4 years available
A primary goal of the grant will be to ensure that academically talented but financially challenged students who wish to pursue a career in the sciences will receive scholarship and other financial assistance. This grant will also be advantageous in not only providing additional funds to supplement a student’s financial aid package, but will ultimately reduce or limit her overall financial debt.
Scholarship grants of up to $10,000 per year for four years will be available to academically qualified students. Additionally, work-study and research internships in a student’s given field of interest will be funded, allowing her to develop valuable career experience while earning money. Finally, a book fund will be established to aid students in purchasing increasingly expensive science textbooks. The College will make its first awards for spring 2009.
Additional Benefits For Students
The NSF grant will also allow the College to expand several learning approaches through a cohort model that enables students to succeed in the sciences, including, group tutoring by peers and professionals, study groups, and opportunities for faculty mentoring. Equally important, the grant will fund professional and career development activities to connect students to internships, research and employment opportunities.
Bay Path’s Commitment To The Sciences
The College’s commitment to the sciences begins even before a young woman becomes a Bay Path student. Studies have shown that young women choose science-related majors and careers if they have been encouraged and mentored while in middle and senior high school. Bay Path’s Science Matters! summer program immerses middle school girls into a hands-on, team-based experience that nurtures their interest in the sciences. That commitment to the sciences is also reflected by the College’s expansion of its academic programs, and a recently completed $3.2 million renovation project creating new laboratories with state-of-the-art equipment and technology. As a result, the number of undergraduate students majoring in forensic science, biology, secondary education with an emphasis in biology, and biotechnology has grown significantly in the last few years, and graduates, such as Kristin Ott ’08, can now be found pursuing science-related careers across the country: from the veterinary program at Iowa State University to the graduate program at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. Kristin is a recent graduate who completed her internship at The Summer Institute at the Harvard-MIT Health Science and Technology Department, and entered Boston University as a Ph.D. candidate in the Genetics and Genomics Program in fall 2008.
Life Sciences Part Of Massachusetts Economic Agenda
Bay Path’s $505,920 NSF award to encourage student careers in the sciences comes at a time when the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has taken decisive steps to secure a global position in the life sciences and biotechnology industry. Governor Deval Patrick’s $1 billion, 10-year Life Sciences Bill has been signed by both the state senate and house, and also includes over $5.5 million earmarked for Western Massachusetts. With this grant, Bay Path students will be well-positioned to take advantage of job opportunities as a result of this important initiative for Massachusetts.
“As part of our College’s five-year plan, we focused on significant investments in science education,” states President Carol A. Leary. “In many ways, this decision mirrors the College’s philosophy of developing academic programs and disciplines that are in direct response to the needs of our women and the changing work force. With this NSF grant, we have created a win-win situation for both our students and the Commonwealth’s economy.”
Bay Path is a four-year private college with an enrollment of over 1600 students at its Longmeadow campus, and satellite campuses in Sturbridge/Charlton (MA) and Burlington (MA). The College offers undergraduate degrees for women; graduate degrees for men and women; and Bay Path Online, the College’s online center offering graduate degrees and certificates.