Public Affairs

California State University Gets Grant to
Boost Service Learning in STEM Disciplines

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Liz Chapin
(562) 951-4800

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(December 8, 2011) – Southern California Edison (SCE) has awarded the California State University Center for Community Engagement a $25,000 grant, which will allow hundreds of CSU students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) majors to take part in community service learning projects.

The program, ECO LED—Energizing Career Opportunities through Local Education and Development—will fund eight service-learning courses in STEM disciplines—so 150-200 students can master the skills of their disciplines while making a difference in local communities.

“Giving students the opportunity to apply their skills and knowledge to benefit communities is a powerful teaching strategy. This grant from SCE will allow us to create opportunities for hundreds of CSU students to contribute to our community efforts to create sustainable, quality environments in California,” said Judy Botelho, the CSU’s director of the Center for Community Engagement.

Eight CSU campuses fall within the SCE service areas and are eligible to participate: Bakersfield, Channel Islands, Dominguez Hills, Fresno, Fullerton, Long Beach, Pomona and San Bernardino.

Community service activities will focus on habitat restoration, environmental education, water quality and storm water management, and renewable energies. Examples of STEM service-learning classes offered in the past include:

  • In an electrical engineering class, students tested lighting levels in a low-income, high-crime community and developed a plan to increase the lighting throughout the city with the intended outcome of decreasing crime levels. They presented the plan to the city council and it was approved.

  • In a renewable energy class, students designed hands-on projects to explain renewable energy technology to school-aged children.

The grant is connected with (STEM)2, the CSU Center for Community Engagement’s Learn and Serve-funded initiative.

For more information on service learning and community engagement in the CSU, please visit the CSU’s Center for Community Engagement web site at

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About the California State University
The California State University is the largest system of senior higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, approximately 412,000 students and 43,000 faculty and staff.  The CSU awards about 90,000 degrees annually and since its creation in 1961 has conferred nearly 2.6 million.  Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, the CSU is renowned for the quality of its teaching and for the job-ready graduates it produces.  The mission of the CSU is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever changing needs of the people of California.  With its commitment to excellence, diversity and innovation, the CSU is the university system that is working for California.

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