The Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) has announced that Wittenberg University will be awarded a grant in the amount of $1,075,999.96 as part of the Choose Ohio First (COF) funding round. COF grants support scholarships for students in the critical fields of science including health professions, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Wittenberg will award the first scholarships through this program to eligible students beginning in Fall 2024.
“We are grateful that Choose Ohio First is recognizing the contributions of Wittenberg University in producing future STEM leaders across our state,” said Wittenberg President Michael L. Frandsen. “The funding fuels our mission and supports our students in discovering their passion and purpose on our campus.”
An important part of Ohio’s strategy to develop STEM talent in the state, Choose Ohio First has committed more than $200 million to STEM and STEM education scholarships over the past five years during the administration of Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted.
"The Choose Ohio First program has significantly strengthened Ohio’s competitiveness within STEM disciplines, and our campuses, including Wittenberg University, have done an excellent job of preparing their STEM scholars for success," said Randy Gardner, chancellor, Ohio Department of Higher Education. "I applaud Wittenberg University for being among this latest group of awardees."
According to the Choose Ohio First website, the ODHE provides funding to Ohio’s colleges and universities to support students in innovative academic programs. As a participating institution, Wittenberg will award scholarships and provide work-based learning experiences to students in a cohort model pursuing future careers in STEM or to students who want to become STEM teachers.
“Wittenberg has a long tradition of outstanding teaching and undergraduate student research in the STEM fields, and our Choose Ohio First award will provide access for more students to our exceptional faculty, academic programs, and research opportunities,” said Brian Yontz, Wittenberg provost and professor of education.
Requirements for a Choose Ohio First scholarship include: being a resident of Ohio, seeking a certificate or degree in an eligible STEM discipline, being enrolled at a participating college or university, and meeting the college or university’s eligibility criteria. Scholarship amounts vary from year-to-year and from college to college. In academic year 2021-2022, the average scholarship at a four-year Ohio college or university was $4,324. Scholarships can be applied to tuition and general fees or cover other approved educational expenses such as books and meal plans.
Choose Ohio First funds higher education and business collaborations that will have the most impact on Ohio’s position in world markets such as aerospace, medicine, and information technology, as per the organization’s website. These collaborations will ultimately produce substantive improvements to the pipeline of STEM graduates and STEM educators in Ohio. Choose Ohio First is part of a strategic effort to encourage Ohio’s economic strength by ensuring a ready workforce for STEM-related industries. Those interested in learning more can also visit the ODE’s Choose Ohio First webpage.
To learn more about STEM-related fields programs at Wittenberg, visit https://www.wittenberg.edu/academics. Additional information on the Choose Ohio First Scholarship process will be forthcoming.