Western Illinois University will begin to offer eight new scholarships and a learning community program this summer for incoming freshman engineering or technology students as part of the National Science Foundation S-STEM grant the university recently received, WIU announced.
Professors Dave Hunter and Blair McDonald applied for the Improving Career Readiness for Engineering Students through a Mentored Living Learning Community (iCREST) grant so WIU could offer more academic and financial support to its School of Engineering and Technology students, WIU said in a news release.
The iCREST program would provide selected students with up to $7,000 per year in scholarship tuition for up to four years plus a small group of peer learners to work with while earning their degrees, according to the release.
In addition to attending classes together, iCREST students also will work one-on-one with a faculty mentor, regularly meet in peer-led study groups to discuss career plans and more, live in a Living Learning Community on campus for their first two years and begin participating in a paid summer internship during their first semester, the release states.
“This is a great opportunity for a young student to become engaged with their education,” Mr. Hunter said in the release. “The work experience, tied with learning in the classroom, will benefit the student for a lifetime. Being part of a peer group will help the student stay focused and excited about engineering and technology.”
To apply, students must meet the academic and financial selection criteria, including a high school grade point average of at least 2.75, and qualify for Pell Grant assistance.
For more information about the program or to apply, visit here.