On March 10, 2010, California State University, Bakersfield (CSUB) was presented with a $500,000 contribution by San Joaquin Valley Chevron North America Exploration and Production Company. These funds will support two initiatives aimed to fill the gap that exists in Kern County between available jobs and a locally-trained STEM workforce (e.g. skilled workers in fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics). Kern County has a significant need for STEM professionals who have roots in the community and have inclination to remain local after obtaining an advanced educational degree.
Since 2007, California State University, Bakersfield, with the financial backing of Chevron, has been working to bridge this gap by creating a program that will pique the interest of students and rejuvenate science teachers through hands-on research experience. "The way you learn science is not by reading about science but by doing science," states Dr. Julio Blanco, CSUB Dean of Natural Science and Mathematics.
With $400,000 of Chevron's generous contribution, the Research Experience Vitalizing Science - University Program (REVS-UP) will begin its fourth year of operation, have the ability to expand to reach more high school students and teachers, and allow more CSUB faculty members to participate. Since the initiation of REVS-UP in 2007, it has quickly become the premier program for junior high and high school students interested in STEM fields.
The additional $100,000 will be used to support STEM success at CSUB. This includes support the Natural Science and Mathematics (NSM) Student Center to assist all of CSUB's current and prospective STEM students by providing a "one-stop shop" for responsive academic support. This will allow for assistance in academic advising and registration, orientation of new STEM students, on-the-spot evaluation of transcripts (enabling science students to enroll in prerequisite-heavy science courses seamlessly), graduation requirement audits and student tracking. The Center secure students' paths leading to STEM degree attainment, beginning prior enrollment and throughout the duration of their studies at CSUB. This funding will also support for a STEM Summer Bridge Program which will develop skills required to succeed for incoming freshmen and allow for supplemental instruction to increase students' success in STEM courses.
"It's absolutely critical for companies like Chevron to have a steady pipeline of young engineers and scientists in all the places we do business so we are always looking for effective ways to stimulate that interest," says Bruce Johnson, Vice President of San Joaquin Valley Chevron North America Exploration and Production Company. This partnership better prepares Kern County students to enter STEM related industries and allows for a greater impact on satisfying the need for a qualified locally trained workforce.
For more information about the STEM Activities at CSUB, visit www.csub.edu/STEM.
For more information:Patty Keefer
Media ContactColleen Dillaway, Director of Public Affairs & Communications