NJIT Receives $800K From PSEG to Expand STEM Learning in Newark

“NJIT recognizes the importance of cultivating diversity in the STEM disciplines, where the greatest career opportunities exist,” NJIT President Joel Bloom said. “The grant from PSEG – which builds upon its past generous support for our pre-college programs – bolsters NJIT’s efforts to increase access to and support of a STEM education for the next generation of leaders, visionaries, researchers, and innovators.”

The grant monies coming to the Newark-based university could potentially help address the lack of representation of people of color across the STEM and tech industry.

In 2020, TrustRadius, a business-to-business review platform, surveyed employees at both tech providers and IT organizations to review the status of people of color in the tech industry. The report found of 1,207 respondents (53% of whom identified as people of color), only 6.8% of computing and math-related jobs are held by Black and Latinx people.

The PSEG Foundation funding could help address that stark gap by expanding the number of Newark high school students to pursue STEM degrees at NJIT through the university's Newark Math Success Initiative (MSI). The program, which launched in 2019 through a partnership between NJIT’s CPCP, College of Science and Liberal Arts, the city of Newark and Newark Public Schools, aims to double the number of city residents enrolled at the university to 600 undergraduate students within five years. 

“Students cannot fully appreciate [STEM] without having hands-on experiences with these subject areas,” CPCP Executive Director and MSI Project Manager Jacqueline Cusack said. “The support from PSEG will mitigate the financial roadblock to student exposure and participation in the superior quality of STEM education offered at NJIT.”

Funding will also help back other initiatives, including stipends and seed money for materials and supplies related to research ranging from environmental engineering to data science and cybersecurity. Officials said the monies would help expand CPCP's efforts to recruit and enroll more students from Newark and other urban communities for its pre-college STEM events and initiatives.

Additionally, annual “PSEG Opportunity Scholarships” will be made available for undergraduates from underrepresented backgrounds who demonstrate financial need and are pursuing engineering and computer science degrees. The financial backing will also be made available for eligible students engaged in NJIT’s Undergraduate Research and Innovation program.

“New Jersey is a hub for innovation across STEM fields,” PSEG Foundation President Calvin Ledford Jr. said. "Through the PSEG Foundation’s expanded partnership with NJIT, NJIT will further support underrepresented students by engaging in a structured, concerted effort to provide access to educational opportunities and remove barriers for advancement and achievement. The PSEG Foundation supports organizations that foster social justice, equity and economic empowerment and NJIT is a perfect partner in this endeavor.” 

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published this page in News and Politics 2022-05-04 02:56:04 -0700