(Abilene, TX – September 8, 2020) McMurry University is pleased to announce it has been awarded a Title V Grant from the US Department of Education for $600,000 per year for the next five years assuming the learning objectives are met throughout the grant period. The new grant will continue the advancement of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) degree programs at McMurry and expand STEM support for Hispanic students.
The University will be offering a new degree in engineering physics beginning in Fall 22. The grant will also provide support for academic success services supporting STEM as well as create a summer pre-calculus program. Facility improvements to the the Finch-Gray Science Building and Cooke Building will provide up-to-date and highly functional lab and classroom spaces for students to learn.
“During such a volatile landscape for high education, McMurry University continues to pursue innovative ways to expand STEM education and this grant affords the University financial resources at a critical time,” says McMurry University President Sandra S. Harper, PhD. The grant lays a solid foundation for McMurry’s future accreditation by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).
“Expanding McMurry’s physics department will create new opportunities for students to obtain recognized postsecondary credentials in engineering, mathematics, or computer science,” says Tikhon V. Bykov, PhD, Chair of the Physics Department at McMurry University. Dr. Bykov will serve as activity coordinator developing the curriculum for the new degree.
The highly competitive Title V grants are awarded to outstanding Hispanic-serving institutions strengthening efforts and fostering opportunities for Hispanic success in STEM fields. McMurry recently received its third year of funding for the University’s first Title V grant focused on STEM programs in the health sciences and sustainable and renewal resources and the development of an undergraduate research program in conjunction with Cisco College.
“McMurry’s science enhancement initiative, ‘Building STEM Success”, is focused on eliminating academic challenges and supporting students to increase graduation,” says Alicia Wyatt, Ed.D., Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs for Academic Administration. “We want our students to succeed in moving from a four-year degree to entrance into careers or graduate and professional schools.” Dr. Wyatt is project director for both Title V projects.
“As part of this new grant, academic success will continue to be enhanced with a new STEM Student Success Center (S3C),” says Vice President of Academic Affairs Matthew J. Draud, PhD. “The S3C will provide dedicated structure for specialized advising and tutoring for physics and engineering students aligning well with the recent award of the SSS grant.”
McMurry will develop pathways aligned to student goals, including 2-, 3-, and 4-year graduation plans. The Career Development Center will offer aptitude testing as well as counsel on practical ways, such as internships, to prepare for a career after graduation. Through collaboration with area employers from in-demand industries and occupations and an emphasis on leveraging connections to university supporters and alumni, McMurry University will ensure its students have opportunities to gain the skills and knowledge to thrive in in-demand STEM-based industries.