TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The U.S. Department of Education and the National Science Foundation have awarded three grants totalling nearly $6 million to Pima Community College.
The areas of study that will benefit from the grants are hospitality, health professions and STEM transfer for students who want to continue their studies at the University of Arizona.
The National Science Foundation has provided a $1.25 million, five-year grant to help Pima work with UArizona recruit and support high-achieving, low-income students who want to pursue STEM-related degrees. The goal is to improve transfer, retention and graduation rates to UArizona in STEM fields.
The DOE grants are “Pathways to Hospitality Leadership” ($2.67 million) and “Guided Pathways in Health Professions” ($1.97 million).
With the hospitality grant, the DOE will help PCC establish a Center for Excellence in Hospitality and Tourism at the Desert Vista Campus, 5901 S. Calle Santa Cruz. The grant funds a redesign of the Culinary and Hotel and Restaurant Management programs into a state-of-the-art Hospitality Leadership degree program.
Of the 151 students enrolled in Pima’s Culinary and Hotel and Restaurant Management programs in 2018, 49% were Hispanic. By the end of the grant, Pima expects to increase the enrollment of Hispanic and other students in Hospitality Leadership by 200 students.
The health professions grant funds Pima’s Guided Pathways in Health Professions project and enables Pima to expand capacity in its nursing programs and improve teaching space, especially in the nursing skills labs.
Pima’s Dean of Critical Care Joseph J. Gaw, Ed.D., M.S.N., R.N., says each semester the program has been turning away qualified applicants because of limited space and clinical site availability. This grant will help Pima increase enrollment in the program by enhancing technology integration and cutting the number of credits in the Nursing Associate of Applied Science, saving students time and money.