Texas State lands grant to promote STEM success among Hispanic, low-income students

Research & Innovation

Jayme Blaschke | October 21, 2021

people looking at math on chalkboard
paula williamson headshot
Dr. Paula Williamson

Paula Williamson, associate dean for research in the College of Science and Engineering, has received a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education's Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) STEM and Articulation Program for her project, "Generación STEM: Promoting Hispanic and Low-Income Student Success through Individualized Support, Transfer Navigation and STEM Career Preparation."

Over the five-year duration of the grant, continued funding could increase the total amount to as much as $4.95 million.

Recognizing the importance of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education in preparing the increasingly diverse generations that will make up the American workforce, Generación STEM was created to improve STEM student success at Texas State, primarily for Hispanic and low-income (HLI) students who will become the nation’s next scientific and technical professionals. 

"We are thrilled to receive federal support for new programming at Texas State that will serve our historically underserved students," Williamson said. "Generación STEM is a collaboration between the College of Science and Engineering and University College to identify and institutionalize new, effective pathways to academic success for HLI students. Our project combines academic, social and career readiness engagement, with the support of professional staff advocating for student success, to improve HLI student matriculation, completion of STEM degrees at Texas State, and successful employment in STEM fields."

Generación STEM will address STEM student success, beginning with first year and transfer students' transition to Texas State through graduation and STEM career attainment. Generación STEM has five overarching goals: 1) to improve and increase STEM degree completion of HLI students through individualized success coaching and advising; 2) to increase the retention and academic recovery of HLI students at risk of attrition through data analytics; 3) to strengthen HLI transfer student navigation from two-year HSIs to improve and increase equitable transfer enrollment and achievement at Texas State; 4) to enhance STEM-based career attainment in collaboration with high-demand employers by developing work-based learning experiences that include in-demand business skill building and curricular alignment; and 5) to contribute to closing the achievement gap for minority and underrepresented students by providing STEM faculty professional development training in culturally responsive instructional methods that support HLI student success.

Williamson will serve as principal investigator (PI) for the project, with Mary Ellen Cavitt, associate vice president for academic success and dean of the University College, Chad Booth, associate dean for academic affairs in the College of Science and Engineering, Kambra K. Bolch, associate dean for academic programs in the University College and Nick Weimer, associate dean for compliance, assessment and sponsored programs in the University College, serving as Co-PIs.

For more information, contact University Communications:

Jayme Blaschke, 512-245-2555

Sandy Pantlik, 512-245-2922