Coker College spearheads national study on STEM programs

Coker College spearheads national study on STEM programs

HARTSVILLE, SC (WMBF) - A local university is spearheading a major study that will impact colleges across the country. It's a $4.4 million initiative funded by the National Science Foundation.

One hundred and fourteen students from six colleges will be selected to participate in each school's STEM Program. STEM stands for Science, Technology, engineering and Mathematics.

The goal is to identify stumbling blocks in and out of the classrooms which stop students from becoming scientists.

"There is a problem nationally where there are gaps in attainment for students in the sciences, between students who come in with financial needs, so they need help paying for college, versus those that don't, and our goal is to close those gaps," said Dr. Joe Flaherty, Associate professor of Biology.

The goal of the program is to help more students become scientists.

Eighteen students from our area will be selected to participate the study. All 114 involved will get $6,000 per year for each of the participant's four years in college.

This is a scholarship, so those students involved in this study must maintain a certain grade point average.

"We are solving issues that are really obvious on the table, like medical challenges that we face. If you think about the advances in agriculture, that we have a safe food supply. It ensures that we have access to food but also cutting edge health care," Flaherty said.

Coker will begin looking for students to enroll in the program soon.

Those selected will start the Fall of 2018.

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