Online Originals: ECU Engineering Department receives $4 million grant

Online Originals

East Carolina University’s College of Engineering and Technology has received a $4 million grant from the National Science Foundation Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Program (S-STEM).

The grant will support 80 low-income students in pursuit of undergraduate engineering degrees.

A group of 40 students will receive scholarships for the fall 2020 semester, and 40 more students will receive scholarships in the fall 2021 semester.

Half of each group of students will begin as freshmen at ECU while the other half will be distributed to community colleges in the area.

Pitt Community College (PCC), Lenoir Community College (LCC) and Wayne Community College (WCC).

The students at PCC, LCC, and WCC will complete two years of their degree programs at their respective community colleges with the intent to transfer to ECU to complete their degrees.

ECU students with financial need are eligible for up to $10,000 per year, and community college students can receive up to $3,000 per year.

“Having those pipelines of students from the community colleges is just a vital way for us to maintain and grow our engineering program,” said Dr. Harry Ploehn, the Dean of the College of Engineering and Technology at ECU.

The program is called Providing Inclusive Residential and Transfer Experience Scholarships (PIRATES) in Engineering.

It fosters a relationship between ECU and our community colleges with a common goal of supporting low-income students.

A research component will track the success of the program.

“So, we’re trying to look at what factors impact student success and ways that universities and departments of engineering, like ours, can work to support our students and make sure they’re successful once they get here,” said Chris Venters, an Assistant Professor of Engineering at ECU and one of the minds behind writing the grant.

Research results from the program are expected to be presented at a future American Society for Engineering Education conference.

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