NSF Helps Fort Belknap Revamp STEM Curriculum

Feb 15th, 2011 | By | Category: 22-3: Food Sovereignty, Spring 2011, Tribal College News

By Rebecca Bishop

The National Science Foundation has awarded a five-year grant of $2.2 million to Fort Belknap College (FBC, Harlem, MT). This award will support the “Pathways to Student Success Initiation Project,” which is under the direction of Dean of Academics Dr. Deborah His Horse Is Thunder and Tribal Colleges and Universities Program (TCUP) Coordinator Cheryl Morales. This is a continuing grant that has been approved on scientific/technical merit for approximately five years.

Morales said she will work with the FBC STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) faculty to restructure the existing science curricula and create a new integrated science associate degree program. This will allow for the two current associate degrees in natural sciences (biological sciences/health and natural resources) to be combined. “This will enhance the instructional quality, while at the same time meeting the needs of students as they prepare to transfer to a four-year institution,” she says.

Once the college has developed and created the new Integrated Science Associate of Science degree, FBC will continue its work to develop a Bachelor’s Degree in Holistic Environmental Science.

“We are cultivating student success for when they transfer into a four-year program, and we are building a strong foundation for students who choose to enroll in our first bachelor of science degree,” Morales says.

Another component of this grant will be a rigorous, six-week summer academy for graduating high school seniors who are seeking degrees in the science fields.

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