August 24, 2011

Mobile, Alabama – Bishop State Community College has been awarded a $250,000 grant from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) under the DHS Scientific Leadership Bridge Awards (SLBA) for Minority Serving Institutions Granting Two Year Associate Degrees. The funding is for three years.

According to Latitia McCane, Dean of Instructional Services at Bishop State, students targeted for this program will be pre-college or early college students of low socio-economic conditions, women, African-Americans and Hispanics. The focus will be on the Homeland Security-Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (HS-STEM) study of natural disasters, infrastructure protection and disaster management.

McCane said the HS-STEM research area was chosen because “the City of Mobile’s critical infrastructure is continuously vulnerable to natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornados and floods from large amounts of rainwater.”

The grant will be divided in to two phases. Phase One will be a Mentoring and Awareness Program that will enhance student learning and influence their success in areas related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics. McCane said the college has created an Engineering, Physics, Economics and Computer Science (EPECS) program designed to recruit students from area high schools. EPECS will prepare them for careers in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and homeland security areas of study.

Phase Two will be aimed at financially supporting those students with scholarships through completion of their Associate degree in preparation for transfer to a STEM affiliated four-year college or university.

Bishop State President James Lowe said the awarding of the grant supports the commitments of DHS and Bishop State to develop a well-qualified workforce. “I appreciate Dean McCane on her efforts in writing the grant for Bishop State, and I commend DHS on its commitment to help Bishop State provide opportunities to those who otherwise lack the resources to pursue an education in such disciplines.”

For more information about the grant, contact the Division of Workforce Development at 405-7086.

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