Inside INdiana Business

IU Northwest awarded STEM grant

(photo courtesy of IU Northwest)

GARY, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — The U.S. Department of Education has awarded a $5 million grant to Indiana University Northwest to boost the number of students in the region graduating with bachelor’s degrees in STEM fields. The five-year grant will focus on Hispanic and low-income students.

The grant comes from the DOE’s Hispanic Serving Institution Science, Technology, Engineering and Math and Articulation Program. The funding supports the creation of Transforming IU Northwest for Opportunities in STEM, or TRIUNFOS, which includes four strategic components.

The components include a curriculum redesign and faculty development, which will include research experiences for students as early as their first year in college. The program will also feature wraparound academic and student support services for STEM, including employment opportunities, peer mentoring and STEM-specific transfer coaching.

IU Northwest says it will also work to create new and enhance existing high school, community and employer partnerships in the region, including a collaboration with Ivy Tech to develop advantages through a shared campus. The university also plans to create a STEM Resource center for both IU Northwest and Ivy Tech students.

“This grant is a testament to IU Northwest’s leadership in creating opportunities for the people of Northwest Indiana,” Chancellor Ken Iwama, said in a news release. “Establishing a center of excellence for STEM education is an ambitious goal and this grant brings us closer to realizing this game-changing community asset.”

IU Northwest is the only public higher education institution in the state with the HSI designation. The university says it expects to make significant investments over the next few years to get the TRIUNFOS program up and running.