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MDC Among 12 Institutions to Receive Portion of U.S. Education Department’s $2.9 Million Grant to Strengthen Minority Participation in STEM-Related Fields

minority sci students

Miami, November 23, 2011 -

The Department of Natural and Social Sciences at Miami Dade College’s (MDC) InterAmerican Campus (IAC) was recently awarded a Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program (MSEIP) grant to train minority students, especially women, to earn a science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) degree.

MDC is among only 12 colleges and universities nationwide to receive the grant, which has a total disbursement of $2.9 million for fiscal 2012. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan made the official announcement earlier this fall, and MDC will begin implementation of the grant in January 2012.

“The resources from this grant will enable the InterAmerican Campus to use a multi-pronged approach to assist cohorts of students to engage, persist and complete a STEM degree at MDC,” said Dr. Victor Okafor, chair of MDC’s Department of Natural and Social Sciences.

“We expect these students will initially earn the A.A. degree and afterward transfer to the B.S. in Biological Sciences degree or other STEM-focused bachelor’s programs at MDC.”

"These grants will help prepare more minority students for STEM-related careers, which are in high-demand and critical to building a competitive workforce that will grow our economy," said Duncan.

MSEIP supports President Obama administration's overall goal of improving STEM education to increase America's technological and scientific competitiveness. In addition to the goal of these grants – to expand career opportunities for underrepresented groups, especially women – the administration is also working to improve the quality of math and science teaching in the nation's schools so that students can master challenging content, think critically in STEM-related subjects, and are no longer outperformed by students in other nations.

For more information about MDC’s Department of Natural and Social Sciences, call 305-237-6062 or visit

To learn more about U.S. Department of Education’s Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program, visit

Media-only contacts:
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611,, MDC communications director
Tere Estorino, 305-237-3949,, MDC media relations director
Tarnell Carroll, 305-237-3359,, media specialist
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710,, media specialist

Miami Dade College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees.
Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Miami Dade College.
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Contact the Office of Director, Equal Opportunity Programs, ADA and Title IX Coordinator, at 305.237.2577 for assistance.