Utah Valley University has received a grant from the National Science Foundation to attract and retain science and engineering students. UVU officials say they will use the money to increase the number of local graduates who can fill the demand for high tech work.
This year, the number of computer science majors at UVU is going to grow almost 30 percent. That’s according to Michael Savoie, Dean of Technology & Computing.
“We’re going to go from 900 majors, to over 1200 majors this fall, and that’s incredible growth,” Savoie says, but it’s still not enough to fill all the computer science-related jobs. That’s why the National Science Foundation is providing more than 600,000 dollars to UVU.
“The simple reality is that to meet the demand in the valley, we probably need to be closer to 1800 to 2000 students. That growth is what we’re going to do, and that’s where we’re going to go, and the National Science Foundation grant helps us get there,” he says.
The grant will be used to fund 21 scholarships for $6000 a year for students who have an interest in science and technology subjects. Savoie says the money is intended to attract students from local high schools.
“We want to build a base of students that are coming up that can fill the jobs locally, and then we’ll supplement out of state - nationally and international students - when we need to, but the primary focus is on the local population,” he says.
Scholarship recipients will also receive student support services and academic enrichment opportunities to help them graduate and secure employment or move on to graduate school.