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UC to Partner with Hughes STEM High School to Boost Student Success

UC President Santa J. Ono attended the “STEM Summit” at the White House, where he participated in the announcement of a new partnership between UC and Hughes STEM High School to boost student success.

Date: 12/4/2014 6:00:00 AM
By: M.B. Reilly
Phone: (513) 556-1824

UC ingot   The University of Cincinnati and Hughes STEM High School will soon begin a new bridge program to help ensure success – both in the classroom and in industry internships – for Hughes students interested in pursuing science, technology, engineering and mathematics majors at the college level.

The new partnership was announced today at the White House at the “Improving STEM Learning and Degree Completion by Students Underrepresented in STEM Fields.”

According to UC President Santa J. Ono, “Our nation’s economic well-being and global competitiveness are tied so closely to our ability to encourage students to study the STEM fields. Right across the street from our campus, the Hughes STEM High School gives us a tremendous opportunity to nurture young students and ignite a future for them in STEM careers.”

The partnership, which is expected to grow in coming years, will begin in summer 2015 with 25 Hughes students who will be rising seniors at that time. The students from Hughes, a Cincinnati public school where student enrollment is predominantly African American, will attend a summer bridge program at UC, participate in internships and then attend enrichment classes and programs at UC throughout the subsequent academic year.

"This partnership further strengthens our connection to the community and to STEM education," said UC Provost Beverly Davenport. "By expanding pathways to success and employment for our current and prospective students, we continue to put their experiences at the center of all we do. Introducing Hughes' students to our faculty and staff helps broaden their impact in our city."

The first year will serve as a pilot. In subsequent years, the program will scale up to include not only rising seniors but younger students as well.

Kathy Wright, principal at Hughes STEM High School, explained, “We at Hughes STEM are so excited about our on-going and newly re-energized partnership with the University of Cincinnati. The University of Cincinnati has been a partner with Hughes STEM since our school’s restructuring in 2009, and over the years, UC has continued its commitment to supporting diverse educational opportunities for all of our students. In addition to the systemic cross-college supports, the new UC-Hughes STEM Summer Academy will serve to deepen our relationship with the university and allow a truly unique STEM learning experience for Hughes students. I am proud to be a partner and side-by-side collaborator with the university leadership in the development of this new initiative to increase student preparedness and access to opportunities in STEM by utilizing the outstanding and rigorous programming offered at the University of Cincinnati.”

Others contributing to planning for the partnership include Bleuzette Marshall, UC’s chief diversity officer; Kathie Maynard, director of community partnership and outreach in UC’s College of Education, Criminal Justice and Human Services; and Rob Richardson, attorney with Branstetter, Stranch and Jennings, PLLC, and member of UC’s Board of Trustees.

Richardson, a UC alumnus, earned his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering in the College of Engineering and Applied Science before going on to graduate from the College of Law. However, before starting his undergraduate degree at UC, he participated in the university’s Emerging Ethnic Engineers Summer Bridge Scholars Program.

The E3 Program will serve as a model for the new UC-Hughes partnership, which will receive initial support of $100,000 in university funding provided by President Ono. It’s expected that the new program will enjoy the same success as the E3 Program. The college graduation rate for participants on the E3 Program is 20 percent higher than the national rate for underrepresented ethnic students.

Stated Richardson, “We believe that this partnership offers the opportunity to transform our community in the long run, creating a pipeline of engineers, doctors and future innovators for our community and the world.”

UC colleges and offices participating in the UC-Hughes partnership are the Office of the President; the Diversity Office; the College of Engineering and Applied Science; the College of Nursing; the College of Allied Health Sciences; the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences; the College of Education, Criminal Justice and Human Services; the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning; the James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy; the Center for Community Engagement and UC Information Technology.

Cincinnati Public Schools Superintendent Mary Ronan said, “I applaud President Ono for his commitment to ensuring a diverse student representation in higher education and for his leadership in designing a partnership that we believe will serve as a national model to equip students from urban high schools with the STEM skills and relational support they need to thrive in higher education and the workforce.”