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Education
Jun 7, 2019

UNCW STEAM Team Program Provides Access Point to Higher Education

Sponsored Content provided by Aswani Volety - Dean, UNCW College of Arts and Sciences

Later this month, UNCW will welcome the second cohort of students to campus as part of the 2019 STEAM Team Program. STEAM Team is a weeklong, residential summer program hosted by UNCW free of cost for underserved ninth- and tenth-grade students recruited from New Hanover, Pender and Brunswick counties. A select group of students with an expressed interest in STEAM disciplines, an exemplary academic record and a recommendation from a school official are accepted.  

The program grows from the UNC System Strategic Plan, which outlines the system’s history of access and student diversity:

Providing North Carolinians access and encouragement to pursue higher education is not confined solely to helping students gain admittance to college. It also includes providing multiple access points into the University, and academic, financial, cultural, and other knowledge-based services to help all students — but particularly those who are underserved for any reason — aspire to, enroll in, and graduate from institutions that match their interests and capabilities.

UNCW STEAM Team immerses students in a university campus environment and provides them with opportunities to engage in hands-on learning in STEAM fields including science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics. STEAM Team 2019 has added a full day of entrepreneurship to the program. By inspiring students from populations underrepresented in universities and colleges to pursue higher education and explore a variety of career paths, we can help ensure their future success.

A study by the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce estimates that by 2020, 61 percent of jobs in North Carolina will require some form of postsecondary education and training, while between 2010 and 2020 there will be an estimated 1.5 million new job openings—two-thirds of which will require higher education.

The UNC system notes that the “attainment gap” between white and minority students in North Carolina is one of the largest in the country; while 50 percent of white students earn a postsecondary degree, only 28 percent of African-American and 24 percent of Hispanic students do so.

UNCW STEAM Team aims to help close this gap by providing underserved students with an access point to higher education. For more information about UNCW STEAM Team, visit the program’s website.

Aswani Volety, Ph.D., is dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of North Carolina Wilmington,  Executive Director of the UNCW Center for Marine Science, and a professor in the Department of Biology and Marine Biology. Volety earned a Ph.D. in marine science from the College of William & Mary, and a master’s and a bachelor’s degree in zoology from Andhra University. The College of Arts and Sciences is UNCW’s largest academic unit, employing over 450 full-time and 150 part-time faculty members and awarding approximately three quarters of the university’s academic credits. Volety serves as the chief academic, fiscal and administrative officer of the college, which is responsible for educating students across the arts, sciences, humanities and social sciences. Volety is also past president of the Southern Association of Marine Labs.To learn more about the UNCW College of Arts and Sciences, visit www.uncw.edu/cas. Questions and comments can be sent to [email protected].  

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