(NASNTI), housed at CASC, has been awarded a five-year research and development grant, from the US Department of Education, in the amount of $1,499,768. The grant will serve to implement three new programs at Carl Albert State College. Over the phase of three years, programs related to STEM, Mathematics, and Digital Media will be launched.
Carl Albert’s two-county service area has a population of just over 92,000, but the College’s influence reaches beyond its borders. Serving large numbers of members of the both the Cherokee and Choctaw Nations, Carl Albert ranks 10th in the country in the number of Associate Degrees award to Native American students. The demands of the local economy and area employers have created the need for employees skilled in computer science- particularly cybersecurity and digital technology with an emphasis on multimedia marketing.
Carl Albert students are historically hampered by “the Math barrier”, a hurdle that prevents their ability to succeed in the STEM fields- science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Additionally, Carl Albert has been limited in STEM programming. The grant will allow the college to launch programs to, in this area, boost student success and produce graduates with the skills set needed for gainful, local employment. “At Carl Albert State College, it is always our goal to be aware of and respond to the needs of our local economy and employers. Enhancing our region is a critical component of our long-term growth and success, and remains a central part of our strategic planning,” said President Jay Falkner.
The goals of the new research and development grant and the associating programs are threefold: 1) decrease the failure rates of students enrolled in Intermediate and College Algebra, 2) develop STEM and digital technology programs, and 3) increase the degree completion rates of Carl Albert’s Native American students in STEM programs by at least 20% by the end of the project. Project Director Micky Solomon stated, “This grant will provide excellent opportunities for students to acquire the skills needed for high-demand jobs. It is an honor to serve students and CASC in this capacity.”
“I am excited that Carl Albert has received the NASNTI grant. Opportunities to get a degree or certification in cyber security in this area are so important in marketing our workforce,” said Cherokee Tribal Councilman Daryl Legg. “When we have companies wanting to relocate to eastern Oklahoma the first thing they usually ask is ‘Do you have a skilled labor force?’ This grant is going to open new doors of employment for our region and I am thrilled that Carl Albert is spearheading this venture.”
The first of the programs is on track to launch in the fall of 2021.