The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded Cal State Long Beach a two-year, $200,000 grant to fund scholarships for low-income, upper division students majoring in computer engineering, computer science and mathematics, announced CSULB President Robert C. Maxson.
Awarded through NSF's Division of Undergraduate Education with partial support provided by its Computer Science, Engineering and Mathematics Scholarships (CSEMS) Program, the money will fund 40 $2,500 scholarships per year for junior and senior students in those majors.
"Because so many of our students have to work while going to college, many don't complete their degrees in a timely manner and some fail to earn their degrees at all," explained Sandra Cynar, chair and professor for the Computer Engineering and Computer Science (CECS) Department. "These scholarships will encourage and help enable academically talented, low-income students to complete their degree programs."
Overseeing the Long Beach Computer Engineering/Computer Science and Mathematics NSF (LB CECS&M-NSF) Scholars Program, Cynar also said both academic departments are looking at the scholarships as a potential recruitment tool, hoping they will attract a talented and diverse group of students to their programs, including transfer students.
Also involved with the program are Arthur Wayman, chair and associate professor for the Mathematics Department, Wayne Dick, vice chair and professor for the CECS Department, and Kent Merryfield, professor and undergraduate advisor for the Math Department.
To be eligible, students must be enrolled full-time in a computer science, computer engineering or mathematics degree program at the baccalaureate level. Current part-time students are eligible to apply provided they are able to become full-time students with the scholarship.
In addition, students majoring in math must have a B average in their mathematics courses while those from computer engineering and computer sciences must have a 2.8 grade-point average in courses in their major.
"This scholarship program will provide a wonderful opportunity to some of our more needy students," noted President Maxson. "Not only will it help them complete their degrees, it will also help get them into the workforce more quickly, and that is critical to many of these students."
Students interested in the scholarships will be required to go through a four-part application process, including completion of the CSULB Financial Aid form, which will be reviewed to see if the students qualify. Once students have shown financial need, they will be required to complete a short essay describing their financial need, academic achievements, and how they have demonstrated their ability to handle time and other resources.
Next, applicants will submit a curriculum plan that demonstrates their ability to graduate within two years and meet all departmental course requirements. This plan must be completed with the assistance of their advisor. Finally, applicants will have to participate in a brief oral interview, which will be conducted by representatives from the Computer Engineering and Computer Science and Mathematics departments.
Public Affairs Offices/Campus News