SCCC/ATS to receive a $4 million STEM grant

Seward County Community will be receiving a $4 million dollar STEM grant. A STEM grant is used toward Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. The grant is a classified as a competitive grant with money available at the federal level. “We found out we were eligible in April,” college President Dr. Duane Dunn said. “We worked on it quite a while.” Dunn was notified by Sen. Jerry Moran’s office last week that the grant had been approved. “We are still waiting on the written notification,” Dunn said. “We anticipate that this week or next week we’ll get the official one.” The funds will be spread out through a five year period with about $800,000 per grant year. The money will be used towards building a couple of greenhouses for the agriculture department which will be the first project, then new class additions will come afterwards. The first project that will be set into place is the sustainable agriculture; with a program that will focus on soil, water and plant growth. Another program that will be brought in due to the grant will be food safety. That program will allow for lab testing of food products. This will not be implemented until the third year of the grant term. The grant also allows for a transfer specialist to be brought to the college. The transfer specialist will be able to assist students transfering to the university level. “This will help our counselors and advisers,” Dunn said. Also, the math and physics labs will be able to have improvements because of the grant. The grant requires students to transfer into a bachelor’s degree and hopefully return with new ideas and new careers to better improve the southwest Kansas area.