NSF funded project helps dozens of engineering students pursue careers in STEM
In its fifth year, the NSF-awarded Florida IT Pathways to Success project (Flit-Path) has provided 127 scholarships to FIU students in computer science, information technology and computer engineering. Ninety of these students have graduated and are working in the STEM field or pursuing graduate degrees.
The five-year grant was created to provide financial and co-curricular support for academically talented, financially needy students in IT-related majors. The $5 million project is a collaborative effort within the Florida Consortium of Metropolitan Research Universities—which includes FIU, the University of Central Florida and the University of South Florida. Together, these universities cover a service area that includes 64 percent of Florida’s population and 48 percent of all undergraduate STEM students enrolled in the State University System.
The Flit-Path program began recruiting students for two cohort types back in 2016: freshmen (Year 1 and Year 2) who were supported for eight semesters and received $2,500 per semester or $5,000 per year, and seniors (Years 1 – 5) who were given $1,220 per semester or $2,440 per year. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, scholars received additional funds.
Students at each institution also were provided with academic advising, mentoring and tutoring, direct support from internship/career offices, career readiness training and access to distinguished speakers. These pathways were designed to help students explore and decide whether to pursue industry employment, start-up opportunities or academic research in graduate school.
“In addition to providing funding, S-STEM [Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics] programs provide critical support that helps students reach their academic goals and prepare them for careers in industry, research or academia,” said Mark Weiss, a distinguished university professor in the Knight Foundation School of Computing and Information Sciences and lead PI of the grant.
Flit-Path students were grateful for the support.
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