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MVCC science technology entry program awarded $1.5 million grant

Mohawk Valley Community College (MVCC) will start offering an associate-degree program in sports management at its Utica campus beginning in the spring semester, which begins Jan. 23, 2019. (Photo credit: Sharon Zohne, Mohawk Valley Community College)

UTICA, N.Y. — Mohawk Valley Community College (MVCC) will use a nearly $1.5 million grant for the next five-year cycle of the school’s science technology entry program (STEP).

The New York State Education Department’s Office of Higher Education awarded the funding, MVCC announced.

The program, heading into its 16th year, will be able to pay for 160 students, which is “double” the number in the previous cycle funded, MVCC said.

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STEP works to encourage underserved high-school students to pursue careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields and licensed professions through peer mentoring, tutoring, standardized-test preparation, college visits, workshops, and educational field trips.

“MVCC is thrilled to have received the STEP grant once again, this time increasing the number of students we can help,” Stephanie Reynolds, VP for student affairs at MVCC, said in a statement. “Our commitment remains firm to prepare students to enter college, and our staff will continue the successful model of working with each individual student to improve their participation rate in science, technology, math, and health-related and licensed professions.”

As part of the 2019-2020 program, MVCC STEP students have participated in research projects and leadership opportunities, which have included attending the annual Project Fibonacci STEAM Conference. The term STEAM includes the same subject areas as STEM, but adds arts.

The STEP students also completed MVCC’s Young Entrepreneurs Academy and Student Leadership Academy; and participated in the Magnet Bridge, P-TECH, College Connection, and Jump Start programs.

One student also earned a Presidential Scholarship, allowing the individual to attend MVCC tuition-free, the school said.

P-TECH is short for Pathways in Technology Early College High School. It allows students to “earn a high-school diploma, an industry-recognized associate degree, and gain relevant work experience in a growing field,” per the P-TECH website.

Students eligible for STEP are New York residents and members of an “underrepresented” population (African American; Hispanic/Latino; Native American/American Indian; or Asian/ Pacific Islander) or are “economically disadvantaged;” and maintain a minimum 2.5 grade point average.

Contact Reinhardt at ereinhardt@cnybj.com

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