Broward College to Boost STEM Enrollment of Hispanic and Low-Income Students with $5 Million Grant

The College receives $5 million over five years to increase enrollment, retention and graduation rates of Hispanic and underrepresented minority students in STEM programs and careers.

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. – November 10, 2021 – Broward College has been awarded a five-year, $5 Million grant to improve opportunities for Hispanic and low-income students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. The grant, funded through the U.S. Department of Education’s Title III Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI) STEM and Articulation program, will support the Accelerating College Completion by Engaging Students in STEM (ACCESS) project at Broward College. The ACCESS project is designed to address the academic and support services needs of Hispanics and other underrepresented populations. It also addresses the growing needs of employers in the region and the needs of the students to improve completion and transfer rates in the Information Technology (IT) field of study.

Despite the growth in the demand and number of people employed in the tech sector throughout South Florida, minorities and women continue to be underrepresented. According to Economic Modeling Specialists, Inc. (EMSI), in South Florida Latinos represent only 29 percent of the workforce compared to 46 percent by white workers. African Americans, that make up 30 percent of the region, only represent 13 percent of the workforce. Women are even less represented, with not even a quarter represented in the workforce. There is a tremendous need to provide quality education and opportunities to address the burgeoning growth in the tech sector. Increasing the number of Hispanic, low-income, and other underrepresented populations in the tech sector is critical to the success and prosperity of economically depressed areas within the region.

“Many of the in-demand jobs are in STEM fields,” said Dr. Jeffery Nasse, provost and senior vice president, Academic Affairs. “As we focus on equity and supporting all of our students to successful career paths, the ACCESS project is another way we are expanding and improving academic and support services to all our students. These high impact strategies will have a measurable effect on the enrollment and success of our diverse student population in the STEM fields.”

Broward College prepares a diverse student body of more than 60,000 students. More than 84 percent of these students represent minority populations, including 39 percent Hispanic students.  In addition, the South Florida region continues to grow in high-skilled, high wage Tech sector jobs with nearly 78,000 employees, according to Burning Glass. 

To support Hispanic and other underrepresented populations with STEM career aspirations and ensure that they move into the workforce or transfer to a four-year institution, Broward College plans to use the grant funds to expand outreach and access to workforce education through the Innovation STEM (iSTEM) Center, a mobile unit that will offer experiential learning experiences at local high schools and within Broward UP (Unlimited Potential) communities which have the high rates of unemployment in Broward County; link students to STEM-focused research opportunities; provide student support through success coaching; conduct early outreach through a summer bridge program for high school seniors; offer work-based experiences through apprenticeships; and conduct co-teaching strategies in computer science and cybersecurity with Broward College and FIU faculty and teaching assistants. 

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About Broward College:

Serving approximately 60,000 students annually, Broward College provides residents with certificate programs, two-year university-transfer degrees, two-year career degrees, and baccalaureate degrees in selected programs. The mission of the College is to provide high-quality educational programs and services that are affordable and accessible to a diverse community of learners. For more information, visit
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