Springfield, Ohio — For the first time, Wittenberg University is offering Choose Ohio First (COF) scholarships in the areas of science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEM) through a unique partnership with seven other Miami Valley higher education institutions participating in the Dayton Regional Collaborative.
The funding, first announced in June by the Ohio Board of Regents as part of the second round of the COF Scholarship program, is now available to students interested in attending Wittenberg. The COF is part of the Ohio Innovation Partnership (OIP), which was created by the Ohio General Assembly to assist Ohio colleges and universities in attracting and retaining the best and brightest students in academic areas critical to the state's economic development.
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The COF is one of three OIP-sponsored initiatives totaling $400 million designed to fuel economic development statewide. In addition to COF, the OIP also supports the Research Scholars Program and other STEM initiatives, including five STEM schools, one of which will be located in the Dayton region. In addition to Wittenberg, Wright State University, the lead institution in the effort, Central State University, the University of Dayton, Clark State Community College, Edison Community College, Sinclair Community College and Southern State Community College, are all part of the Dayton Regional Collaborative.
"The Choose Ohio First program is essential as Wittenberg continues to build its leading computational science program within its nationally recognized liberal arts program," said Eric Stahlberg, Wittenberg's director of computational science. "The scholarships associated with the program will open doors for students to experience computational science and other STEM disciplines while studying at a top liberal arts university."
Working in partnership with area businesses, educational organizations, high-tech industry leaders, research and development operations, local hospitals and others, the collaborative will assist in growing the STEM pipeline throughout the Dayton region in alignment with the economic development priorities and employment needs of the area. At the same time, the collaborative is committed to "increasing the participation and graduation of underrepresented populations, and to providing internships, co-ops, and other experiential learning" opportunities for Choose Ohio First scholars.
The eight colleges and universities involved in the Dayton Regional Collaborative will offer approximately 1,000 scholarships per year, ranging from $1,500 to $4,700. The goal is to increase enrollment in STEM disciplines by a minimum of 10 percent, producing a net additional 335 graduates per year in the targeted STEM disciplines.
"For many students, the combination of the sciences with a liberal arts experience in the small intimate environment available at Wittenberg will be an ideal fit," said Lin Erickson, Wittenberg's director of corporate, foundation and government relations. "In a world where employers require students to think critically, write clearly and speak effectively, and the innovation that drives the economy requires individuals who can think outside the box, a liberal arts college can provide just the right mix of scientific rigor and coursework across a variety of disciplines."
To apply for a COF scholarship or to learn more about the awards available at Wittenberg, contact the Office of Admission at (937) 327-6314.
Written By: Ryan Maurer