Kerrville, TX – Schreiner University has applied for and received a $5 million Hispanic Serving Institutions Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (HSI-STEM) grant from the U.S. Department of Education (DOE). The HSI-STEM grant will support several STEM-based programs – including the University’s new Engineering program with tracks in civil and mechanical engineering and the Computer Science program among others – affectionately titled Project HOPE.
“Project HOPE is a transformative initiative for Schreiner University,” said Dr. Charlie McCormick, Schreiner University President. “More than a decade in the making, Project HOPE brings to fruition Schreiner’s careful evolution of an academic program in Engineering. For many years, Schreiner offered a 3 -2 engineering program where students would begin college at Schreiner, complete their basics, and then – after three years – transfer to another university where they would spend two years completing their engineering requirements. As a result, students would earn two bachelor’s degrees: a BA from Schreiner and the second would be an engineering degree from the school to which they transferred. More recently, Schreiner entered into partnership with the University of North Dakota’s (UND) engineering programs so that students could study engineering through online courses and brief on-campus visits to UND while they earned their degree at Schreiner.”
“Most engineering and computer science programs are housed in large public universities, but many students are best served by the familial atmosphere and personal attention they receive at small private universities,” said Dr. Brian Bernard, Associate Professor of Engineering at Schreiner University. “Now students won’t have to choose between the career they want to pursue and the school that gives them the best chance of success. They can find both at Schreiner.”
“Project HOPE – funded through an almost $5 million grant from the Department of Education’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) STEM and Articulation Program, Title III, Part F – now enables Schreiner University to offer a complete undergraduate engineering program (with tracks in mechanical engineering and civil engineering) as well as new academic programs in computer science and agricultural sciences,” McCormick went on to say. “We anticipate that the new division in which these programs will be housed – the Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences – will be home to many more new and exciting academic programs in the near future.”
Schreiner University remains committed to being a Hispanic Serving Institution. Over 38% of this year’s incoming freshmen identify as Hispanic. Project HOPE’s programs made possible by this grant significantly enhance and expand the curriculum and resources offered to Schreiner’s Hispanic students and enable Schreiner to advance learning outcomes for all students enrolled in STEM degree programs. Project HOPE’s emphasis focuses on first-year student retention, six-year graduation completion rates and numbers of first-year freshmen and transfer students.
“This HSI-STEM grant award is a culmination of many hours of hard work, and a true team effort,” said Dr. Bill Davis, Dean of Faculty at Schreiner University. “The new programs that will reside in the Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences will provide a myriad of opportunities for students interested in Engineering, Computer Science, Agriculture, and Natural Resource Management. I am looking forward to seeing the results this transformational grant will have on Schreiner and the local community. I am honored to be a part of this initiative.”
“This grant will allow Schreiner University to offer more majors/degrees within the Engineering and Applied Sciences field, including Computer Science,” stated Dr. Ayankunle Tiawo, Assistant Professor of Computer Information Technology at Schreiner University. “A degree in computer science helps you understand foundational concepts of software languages used by companies to develop software, games and mobile apps so that you can easily navigate between them. In addition, computer science is a very fertile ground for critical thinking, as students can solve Engineering and Applied Science problems through Computer Science. Lastly, there is increasing demands for degrees, and computer science-related jobs are not only rewarding from a work perspective, but also financially.”
The five-year grant is funded through the DOE’s Office of Postsecondary Education, which works to strengthen the capacity of U.S. colleges and universities and expand access to higher education. The Office’s HSI STEM grants are intended to increase Hispanic and low-income students attaining degrees in science, technology, engineering or mathematics.