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KSU Press Release : : NSF Grant

NSF Awards Record $1.03 Million Grant to KSU's CyberTech Program

September 2004
Contact:
Frances Weyand
Director,University Relations
Writer: Rick Woodall
770-423-6203

KENNESAW, GA. (Sept. 30) -- The National Science Foundation has awarded a $1.03 million grant to Kennesaw State University's College of Science and Mathematics to help make the groundbreaking CyberTech initiative a national model for programs designed to increase diversity in the sciences.

The grant -- the largest ever bestowed upon a KSU program by the NSF -- will be paid out over the course of the next three years through the foundation's "Information Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers" (ITEST) program. It will allow CyberTech to grow from its current four-week summer format into a comprehensive three-year curriculum.

The new program will engage more than 600 students and 50 teachers, together representing at least 10 different northwest Georgia high schools. The service area spans from Dalton in the north to two selected representatives of the Atlanta Public Schools ( South Atlanta and Washington ). Six different Cobb County schools also will be involved, along with Marietta High School .

Participants have the opportunity to earn as much as nine hours of college credit, as well as two years of high school credit, by successfully completing the expanded curriculum, which begins with an online class for second-semester sophomores in January 2005 and concludes with the advanced placement computer science test offered to graduating seniors in 2007.

CyberTech -ITEST is built upon the success of the pilot program, which was started in 2001 as a way to expose people from traditionally under-represented groups (primarily Hispanics, African-Americans, women and first-generation college students) to the opportunity of a career in the sciences.

Through partnerships with Dell, The UPS Foundation, Equifax and Microsoft, CyberTech offers not only state-of-the-art training in computer technology, but also the opportunity to build relationships and develop role models with minorities already working in the industry.

"What I see this program doing is really providing a lot of incentive for students to take their high school education more seriously and to identify careers at the high school level that are going to motivate them," said Dr. Laurence I. Peterson, dean of the College of Science and Mathematics. "Once you have a goal like that, it's amazing how you channel a lot of your energy into it. It helps students prepare for their education."

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