More than 50 Cal State Fullerton engineering students will be provided scholarships throughout their college careers, thanks to nearly $598,000 from the National Science Foundation.
The grant underwrites $1,000 and $2,000 annual scholarships for up to five years through the Academic Catalyst for Excellence Scholarship Program, which seeks to improve educational opportunities for academically promising, but financially disadvantaged, engineering students.
Susamma Barua, associate dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science, and Kiran George, assistant professor of computer engineering, were awarded the grant.
The scholarships are designed to help propel the students toward graduation by allowing them to focus more on their studies and less on earning a paycheck, said George, program director.
The first group of scholarship recipients will come from the crop of students who have just completed their freshman year and will be sophomores this fall. This year’s incoming freshmen will be eligible to apply for the ACE scholarships for spring 2011.
First-generation college students and those from underrepresented groups will be emphasized, George said. Selection will be based on academic potential, G.P.A., entry-level mathematics exam score, a personal statement, letter of recommendation and an interview.
As part of the ACE program, freshmen attend a special orientation that explores how a university differs from high school and familiarizes them with the campus and its academic resources. Participants are integrated into such existing support programs as the Center for Academic Support in Engineering and Computer Science, which provides study centers, tutoring, academic advising, expedited access to student organizations and professional development.
Student mentors will work with ACE scholars, and faculty members will provide them with opportunities for research experience.