WIU launching scholarship through National Science Foundation

Western Illinois University will offer eight new scholarships and a new learning program for incoming freshman engineering or technology students beginning this summer. Pictured are Engineering Technology Leadership students. CREDIT WESTERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY

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.

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