Payne, Menendez, Booker Announce Up to $3M in Federal Funding to Support Minority Students Pursuing STEM Careers at Bloomfield College

Oct 6, 2015 Issues: Education, Local Issues

BLOOMFIELD, N.J. – Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10), and U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker, today announced that Bloomfield College has been awarded up to $3 million over the next five years in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Education’s Predominantly Black Institutions (PBI) competitive grant program to expand and promote college success of African-American and other underrepresented students pursuing careers in the high-demand fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).  

“STEM is essential to the economic future of our nation, which is why it is so important to increase access to education in innovative fields for our students,” said Congressman Payne, Jr. “This federal funding will better enable Bloomfield College to improve college readiness and provide a high-quality education to our future STEM leaders.”

“This is about investing in the future and providing greater opportunities for more students to learn and eventually earn, contribute to the economy, and ultimately create jobs,” said Sen. Menendez. “The federal funding we are announcing today will allow Bloomfield College to open more doors for more diverse students to come to this campus and innovate, create, design, build, and be on the cutting-edge of historic technological advances that may change how we live and how we communicate.”

“I’m proud that this grant will enable Bloomfield College to continue its critical work expanding educational opportunity for both prospective and current students,” said Sen. Booker. “This funding will enhance Bloomfield’s science, technology, engineering and math instruction and research capabilities while engaging students traditionally underrepresented in these critical fields.  Investing in the genius of our young people and providing them with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed will always be a critical pillar of our state and our country’s success.”

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The U.S. Department of Education will make the award to Bloomfield College over a five-year period, beginning with its first installment of $600,000. Bloomfield College plans to use the funding to expand its STEM programs for eighth grade and high school students, as well as enhance STEM programs and support services for current college students in order to:

  • Improve the college readiness skills of African-American and other high-need eighth grade and high school students
  • Improve the academic success and STEM knowledge of African-American and other high-need students enrolled in STEM courses
  • Improve college retention and graduation rates of students, and fully prepare them for their STEM professions
  • Accelerate time to degree completion
  • Reduce the net cost of college

“The underrepresentation of African-American and high-need students in STEM professions has a detrimental impact on their long-term earning potential and on the financial status of their communities,” said Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty Dr. Tresmaine Grimes. “The new PBI grant will allow Bloomfield College to expand services that help improve the academic success, retention and graduation rates of students who are interested in pursuing STEM careers.

“Additionally, the funds will allow the College to broaden opportunities for local middle and high school students to increase their college readiness skills and exposure to STEM majors and careers. Ultimately, the grant will bolster Bloomfield College's ability to increase the number and quality of underrepresented students who pursue and obtain STEM careers, and have a positive impact on communities throughout the State of New Jersey and beyond.”

The PBI program makes grant awards to eligible institutions to plan, develop, undertake and implement programs to enhance the institution's capacity to serve more low- and middle-income African-American students; to expand higher education opportunities for eligible students by encouraging college preparation and student persistence in secondary school and postsecondary education; and to strengthen the financial ability of the institution to serve the academic needs of these students.