National Science Foundation awards CCBC $1.3 million for STEM Core Network initiative in Maryland

Aug 15, 2018 | by Hope H. Davis | 443.840.5053 (office) | 410.971.5560 (cell)

Baltimore County, MD Community College of Baltimore County has received $1.3 million via two new grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support the implementation of the STEM Core Network initiative in Maryland. Created by California based nonprofit Growth Sector, the STEM Core Network is a partnership of nationwide scientific and technical employers, community colleges, and workforce agencies focused on expanding the pipeline of students for engineering and computer science careers.

“We are honored that CCBC is the recipient of these extraordinary awards. I thank the National Science Foundation for recognizing the critical role community colleges play in educating and preparing the future workforce,” said CCBC President Sandra Kurtinitis. “These grants enable CCBC to ensure that our students receive the education and training that lead to high-wage, high-demand STEM careers.”

CCBC received a $599,000 NSF grant to implement STEM Core in central Maryland in collaboration with Anne Arundel Community College. This partnership will allow 135 students who express interest in careers in cybersecurity to participate in the STEM Core initiative over a three-year period. In addition, CCBC received $738,684 as a sub-award recipient to Saddleback College in California to participate in a 30-college network as part of the NSF-funded STEM Core Expansion Alliance. CCBC will serve as one of four regional hubs coordinating technical support and professional development for faculty, counselors, and student support specialists.

The STEM Core initiative provides an accelerated math program to assist lower-skilled mathematics students to reaching calculus, a necessary requirement to meet the demand for skilled labor in STEM industries. During their STEM Core year, students will take a class in accelerated mathematics along with courses in their technical subjects. To support their success, students will benefit from special academic advising, career coaching, and referral services, as needed. Additionally, students meeting the requirements will be placed into paid summer internships to further develop their technical skills.

“We understand the tremendous growth potential of many STEM careers, especially cybersecurity, from talking to industry leaders and, of course, from reading the daily headlines,” said Michael Venn, Assistant Dean for Mathematics at CCBC, and one of the original collaborators who brought the STEM Core model to Maryland. “This support from the National Science Foundation allows us to further develop our program to help students find meaningful employment while also satisfying the demand from local industry for cyber and computer science professionals.”

For more information about the STEM Core initiative, contact Michael Venn, Assistant Dean for Mathematics at CCBC, at 443-840-2655 or


About the Community College of Baltimore County (
Since 1957, CCBC has opened the doors to accessible, affordable, high-quality education empowering generations of area residents to transform their lives and the lives of others. Each year, more than 63,000 students enroll at the college’s main campuses, extension centers and online to make their starts, earn degrees, launch and build careers. CCBC offers the region’s most expansive selection of degree, certificate and workplace certification programs that prepare students for transfer, job entry and career advancement in such industries as business, education, health care, information technology, cybersecurity, construction and transportation. CCBC is nationally recognized as a leader in innovative learning strategies, among the nation’s top associate degree producers, and designated as a Military Times Best College 2018.

CCBC is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, 2nd Floor West, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (267-284-5000). The Middle States Commission on Higher Education is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

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