STEM Scholars Program | Southwestern Illinois College

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING AND MATH

The SWIC STEM Scholars Program is part of the National Science Foundation’s scholarship program in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. This program is designed to promote the educational pursuits of academically talented and financially needy students in STEM disciplines. The goal is to support students entering STEM majors with the financial aid needed to help them to pursue their immediate educational goal of completing an associate degree and/or transferring to a university to complete a bachelor of science degree in their chosen STEM major.

SWIC received a more than $600,000 S-STEM grant from the NSF to award anywhere from 14 to 24 STEM scholarships each year from fall 2016 to fall 2020.

READ AN UPDATE ON THE STEM SCHOLARS PROGRAM

STEMScholarsNewsletterSPRING2018

STEM SCHOLARS BENEFITS

Financial Aid… Your STEM Scholarship will pay for all approved SWIC tuition and fees, and will provide you with a stipend for living expenses.

Opportunities… STEM Scholar activities will introduce you to four-year college programs, career possibilities and regional STEM employers. Also, you will learn about research and internship opportunities open to SWIC students.

Camaraderie… Attend enrichment activities (such as university and industry visits), study sessions and classes with other STEM Scholars.

Support… You will be paired with a faculty mentor who can offer educational and career guidance and help you prepare an academic plan; and you will have access to support services that will help you thrive at SWIC and successfully transfer to a four-year university.

STEM SCHOLARS SPECIAL OPPORTUNITIES

Each semester, STEM scholars must:
  • Enroll in a special topics course with other scholars:
    • MATH 299 Exploring Mathematics with Technology, Fall 2019
    • PHYS 299 Special Topics in Physical Science, Spring 2020
    • MATH 299 Bits & Bolts and Beyond, Fall 2020
    • BIOL 299 Tools for Trade, Spring 2021
  • Attend weekly study sessions with other STEM Scholars in the SWIC Success Center
  • Attend monthly enrichment events held outside of class time
  • Meet multiple times with your faculty mentor to discuss class performance, complete and manage a degree plan, and explore transfer opportunities.Other Unique Opportunities:
  • Attend optional visits to four-year universities
  • Participate in summer research or internship opportunities

HOW TO BECOME A STEM SCHOLAR

To enter the STEM Scholars Program:

Because the STEM Scholar grant period is about to end, the program has admitted its last cohort and we will not be accepting a batch of applications in 2020.

However, there may be one or two slots that open up. If you’re interested in being a STEM Scholar, then complete and submit the application. There is no specific deadline, but applying earlier will improve your chances of being accepted into the program. For example, an application submitted after mid-November will not give the committee enough time to make a decision in time for a spring start time.

The program will only grant scholarships through spring 2022; preference will be give to students who can finish their degree in that time.

  • Submit a completed STEM Scholar application, attend an on-campus interview and be selected by the STEM Advisory Committee
  • Score at least a 22 on the math and English parts of the ACT, or take the SWIC Accuplacer test and place into (at least) ENG 101 and MATH 97
  • Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid and qualify for need-based loans and/or grants
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Qualify for SWIC in-district tuition
  • Enroll in an Associate in Science or Associate in Engineering Science program, with a plan to transfer to a four-year institution and major in biology, chemistry, computer science, earth science, engineering, mathematics or physics
  • Be enrolled full time (13-18 semester credits per semester)

WHO CAN BE A STEM SCHOLAR

Students who are new to SWIC and are interested in pursuing a STEM pre-major, or SWIC students who are interested in changing to a STEM pre-major and transferring to a four-year university to earn a STEM-related bachelor of science degree are encouraged to apply. The program promotes success in education and careers for populations such as African Americans, Latin Americans, Native Americans, women, low-income students, and first-generation colleges students that are underrepresented in STEM fields.

Students who are pursuing the following STEM pre-majors at SWIC may be eligible: Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Earth Science, Engineering, Mathematics and Physics.

HOW TO APPLY

Download the application and requirements for the 2019-20 academic year.

Application2019

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

STEMFAQs

WHY STEM EDUCATION IS IMPORTANT

Both the National Science Foundation and SWIC acknowledge the need for the SWIC STEM Scholars Program because:

  • The country needs more STEM graduates to meet the needs of the 21st century economy. See for example, the National Academy of Science’s books “Rising Above the Gathering Storm” and “Rising Above the Gathering Storm, Revisited.”
  • The St. Louis Metro area needs more STEM graduates to meet the needs of local/regional employers. For example, see “State of St. Louis STEM Workforce 2014” at STLCC.edu/STLworkforce.
  • Diversity needs to be improved in most STEM professions. For example, National Society of Black Engineers is actively seeking to increase numbers of black engineering graduates.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Joy Branlund, Ph.D.
Professor of Earth Sciences
Co-Principal Investigator
618-931-0600, ext. 7451
joy.branlund@swic.edu
or STEMScholars@swic.edu

Chris Farmer
Associate Professor of Mathematics
Co-Principal Investigator
618-235-2700, ext. 5172
christopher.farmer@swic.edu
or STEMScholars@swic.edu