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NSF grant will ease transition to Sac State for transfer students

Malika Murray For community college transfer students who dream of a bachelor’s degree and beyond, the transition to a university can be daunting. Thanks to a new $959,999 grant from the National Science Foundation, that path will get smoother at Sacramento State for more than 60 high-achieving, low-income transfer students focused on majors in biological sciences or chemistry.

Each of the students will receive a $9,000 scholarship for his or her first year at Sac State as part of the Hornet Science Scholars program. In exchange, the students will participate as a group in various programs and courses to ease their way into university life.

The new programs will be melded into Sac State’s Center for Science and Math Success, an umbrella organization comprising support programs in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. “This grant really showcases the collaboration between the programs,” says Professor Enid Gonzalez-Orta, the center’s director.

The transfer students will receive help with their academic needs and their social environment. “Both of those are important for students to be successful,” says Jennifer Lundmark, a biology professor and director of the Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) program, who was the principal investigator for the grant. Academic help will include peer mentoring, team learning, and development of new study skills, as well as help finding employment in science-related fields during their first summer break.
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