LONGMEADOW — Thanks to a recently awarded grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), Bay Path University will undertake a three-year project aimed at increasing the academic success, engagement, and retention of undergraduate women enrolled in bachelor’s-degree programs in biology, forensic science, and cybersecurity, particularly those students from underrepresented groups. The grant, totaling $300,300, will be awarded over a three-year span.
The funding provides resources and programmatic support for student tutors and mentors, materials and stipends for student research, student travel, and guest speakers. In addition, funding was allocated for upper-level course redesign and faculty professional development around mathematics.
“Providing access and support to women entering careers in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields is one of Bay Path’s highest priorities,” President Carol Leary said. “This grant will help us nurture essential skills critical for future scientists, chemists, and biologists, ultimately increasing the representation of women in these valuable professions.”
The project will strengthen STEM curricula at Bay Path, expand peer academic support, and broaden student participation in high-impact practices. These practices include early student research, mentoring by faculty and STEM professionals, academic enrichment, and career exploration through internships and other experiential learning opportunities. Project activities will be coordinated through a new academic center at Bay Path University, called the Center of Excellence for Women in STEM.
Through the support provided by NSF, Bay Path faculty will implement and extend recommendations for effective teaching in the biological sciences defined by the Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education Initiative, an initiative of the American Assoc. for the Advancement of Science. This initiative is being further advanced through the work of faculty fellows nationwide as part of the Partnership in Undergraduate Life Science Education (PULSE).