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$1.1 million for computer science fast-track program

Collaboration between CSUMB, Hartnell to start in fall

CSU Monterey Bay and Hartnell College have received a grant of $1.1 million to support their new three-year degree program in Computer Science and Information Technology.

The university and Hartnell have partnered to create a program called CSIT-in-3. The two schools have worked closely on the program’s design and implementation and will collaborate on instruction, mentoring and advising. It will start in the fall with approximately 30 students.

They will go through the program in groups, or cohorts, from enrollment to graduation, following a pre-determined series of courses. Along the way, they will receive academic support and career development through workshops and internships. The students will graduate in just three years and be ready to compete for in-demand opportunities in the high-tech job market and in graduate school. The grant, to be distributed over five years, is the result of a partnership among the National Science Foundation, Intel and General Electric. The project is called “Graduate 10K+” and its goal is to increase the annual number of graduates in computer science and engineering by 10,000.

The grant money will be used to hire a staff member to guide, monitor, and support students' academic progress as they move through the program. It will also pay for a summer program to enhance students’ academic skills, field trips and other support programs.

“We are building a new model for computer science education,” said Dr. Sathya Narayanan, director of the Computer Science and Information Technology program at CSUMB. “We are going beyond the boundaries of institutions, courses and semesters to build a program around the student cohorts.”

Said Joe Welch, lead program faculty member at Hartnell, “We’re bringing in students who have traditionally been underrepresented in computer science and information technology, and providing all the support they need to succeed.”

The grant is the second major gift to the program. The Matsui Foundation has committed to providing $30,000 over three years to each of 23 students.

Under Graduate 10K+, a total of $10 million was awarded to nine colleges and universities, including Cornell, Syracuse, University of Texas and a collaboration between the University of Washington and Washington State University.

Learn more about the program.

Photo: National Science Foundation Acting Director Cora Marrett and CSUMB President Eduardo Ochoa at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.