February 11, 2011 – Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) has won a $600,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to support highly qualified, economically disadvantaged, students to study Computer Science and Information Technology and to revitalize interest in those fields.
“The Advancing Computing Education through Synergistic Support (ACESS) program provides scholarships, mentoring, leadership activities, and other opportunities for academically talented students who would like to either major or earn a minor in Computer Science or Information Technology,” said Dr. Elva Jones, WSSU Professor and Department of Computer Science Chair. “In addition to substantial financial assistance that will be provided over the next five years, the ACESS Scholars will participate in many activities of the program that will focus on building strong computing skills and the synergy those skills can provide to solve science and industry problems.
“Our efforts are aimed at increasing the number of highly trained, underrepresented computing professionals, as well as developing a new generation of Computer Science and Information Technology leaders and researchers,” Jones added.
Students in the program often present the results of their research experiences at regional and national conferences. They receive career counseling and are encouraged to develop additional professional skills by participating in local chapters of computing organizations.
The ACESS Program is open to students who are pursuing an undergraduate degree in Computer Science and Information Technology as well as undergraduates majoring in Chemistry, Biology, or Mathematics who minor in Computer Science or Information Technology. The program also emphasizes recruitment of African-American students, particularly women and people with disabilities.
The NSF is an independent federal agency created to promote science and engineering by supporting research and education.