July 5, 2011
Piedmont Technical College has been awarded nearly $600,000 as part of a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The grant, awarded through the NSF program Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S-STEM), will fund 130 scholarship awards over the next four years in an effort to increase recruitment and retention.
The Hi-TECH Scholars Program is aimed at increasing enrollment in the areas of engineering technology, computer technology and automotive technology, especially with minority and female students. The scholarships are available to students enrolled full time in one of those program areas who are academically talented but socioeconomically disadvantaged.
“Our primary objective is to get students into these programs that have a positive career potential and get them out and into the work force in two years,” said Sandy Warner, engineering technology department head.
Warner, engineering technology instructor Christina Knight, associate dean for instructional development and transfer Lynn Mack, computer technology program coordinator Lesley Price and the automotive technology program coordinator will direct the grant program that will focus on student academic achievement, professional mentoring and career development.
The scholarships awarded will be on average $700 per semester for tuition, allowing students to use other forms of financial aid for books and fees, and will include a “Loan to Own” laptop or automotive scan tool, meaning the students may keep them upon graduation from their program.
To be eligible for the scholarships, students must be enrolled full time in one of the associate degree program and have a GPA of 3.0 or higher for entering secondary students or currently enrolled PTC students. Non-traditional students must test into the program via a placement test or SAT/ACT scores and submit an essay about their career pathway choice. All applicants will be required to complete a FAFSA form, an essay, and an interview. Students currently enrolled part time at PTC can apply if they can move to full-time status.
“I’m excited about the financial opportunity this is going to provide students to enter our programs and graduate on time,” said Keith Lasure, dean of engineering and industrial technology. “This will not only help the students in their career path, it will help the college meet our obligations to our community.”
“Our strategic goals are to transform lives and to meet students where they are and take them where they want to go,” said Dr. Ray Brooks, president of Piedmont Tech. “But, if you can’t afford it, what good is it to have it? Our goal is to provide pathways like this that allows students to economically afford the education they need.”
Applications will be available online and the deadline for fall 2011 will be early August. For more information, contact Sandy Warner at (864) 941-8466 or firstname.lastname@example.org for engineering technology; Lesley Price at (864) 941-8746 or email@example.com for computer technology; or Keith Lasure at (864) 941-8687 or firstname.lastname@example.org for automotive technology.