Holyoke Community College has received a nearly $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation to start a new fast-tracked engineering program aimed to boost diversity in the field.
The $956,458 grant was awarded as part of the college’s Hispanic Serving Institutions program, to be distributed over the course of four years. HCC’s new program, the Western Massachusetts Engineering Pathways Program, will allow students to complete a one-year engineering certificate program that will conclude with a paid internship in the field.
“We’re hoping that through this pilot program we can look at ways to enhance the engineering curriculum at Holyoke Community College but also be an example to other community colleges in other areas,” said Melissa Paciulli, director of the STEM Starter Academy at HCC and one of the co-principal investigators of the program.
HCC’s partners for the grant include Holyoke High School, Westfield High School, Western New England University, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, the 50K Coalition, the Northampton-based Collaborative for Educational Services, and the Society for Women Engineers.