Students that part of the STEM program
Photo credit: Ashley Ferrera

Eugenio María de Hostos Community College recognizes the importance of offering its students high-quality courses in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math). Moreover, Hostos encourages them to continue along these paths when they advance to a baccalaureate degree program.
This commitment is at the heart of Hostos’ collaboration with The City College of New York’s Grove School of Engineering, which began with the first joint/dual degree program in Electrical Engineering in fall 2003. The Civil Engineering Program followed in spring 2005, Chemical Engineering in spring 2007, and Mechanical Engineering in spring 2009.  
Beginning in the fall 2014 semester, Hostos Community College and LaGuardia Community College will offer new associate degrees in Earth System Science & Environmental Engineering (ESE). Students completing the programs will be able to transfer seamlessly to the Grove School of Engineering at The City College of New York to earn bachelor’s degrees.
Supported by a $4 million U.S. Department of Education grant, the program employs new methods and advanced technologies to improve retention and graduation rates among students who transfer from community colleges to the Grove School. The grant also paid for infrastructure improvements at all three colleges.
“The three institutions will operate as a continuous learning environment with common infrastructure, administration and academic support,” said Dr. Jorge González, NOAA-CREST Professor of Mechanical Engineering at City College’s Grove School of Engineering. Professor González is principal investigator on the grant, half of which is earmarked for infrastructure, labs and breakout rooms.
Hostos Associate Professor Nieves Angulo, who has helped to secure grants for these initiatives, said the new Environmental Engineering Program is a pathway to equal educational opportunity.“This is really about expanding the horizon for our students,” Angulo said. “We are very proud that this collaboration has improved our curriculum for the STEM fields.”

More than 50 percent of Hostos students are Latino, and not only do these programs serve the College’s diverse student population, they also strengthen the nation’s competitive advantage in the global economy.
In this country, Latinos have traditionally been underrepresented in STEM. In 2008, they received less than 14 percent of the engineering degrees awarded by U.S. colleges and universities, even though they constitute 16.9 percent of the U.S. population according to the most recent census. With the Latino population predicted to double to 100 million by 2050, increasing the numbers of Latinos in engineering and other STEM fields is now more important than ever.
Moreover, employment opportunities for environmental engineering technicians are projected to increase by 18 percent between 2012 and 2022. This is a faster growth rate than the average anticipated for all occupations. Employment in this field usually stems from projects created by environmental engineers. Over the next decade, state and local governments are expected to focus their efforts and resources on efficient water use and wastewater treatment, and as a result, there will be greater demand for environmental engineering technicians.
Academic support will be linked to a newly developed early alert system that tracks students at risk for low academic performance. These students will receive additional counseling and be invited to one-on-one and group tutoring sessions to address their shortcomings.
Students who might not be fully prepared for a Bachelor’s of Engineering  program at City College can benefit significantly from starting their journey at Hostos, where academic support offerings in remedial courses to  build math, science, reading, and writing skills is part of the educational building structure.
“We are building two breakout rooms now, and our hope is that they will be ready by the fall. By supplying web-based tutoring, we can save students time so they can concentrate on their classes and we want that for them,” Angulo said.
The basic idea is simple: Give students a clear path; provide support, guidance and quality instruction; and the sky‘s the limit.

About Hostos Community College
Eugenio María de Hostos Community College is an educational agent for change that has been transforming and improving the quality of life in the South Bronx and neighboring communities since 1968. It serves as a gateway to intellectual growth and socioeconomic mobility, as well as a point of departure for lifelong learning, success in professional careers, and transfer to advanced higher education programs. The College’s unique "Student Success Coaching Unit" provides students with individualized guidance and exemplifies its emphasis on student support services.

Hostos offers 29 associate degree programs and five certificate programs that facilitate easy transfer to CUNY's four-year colleges or baccalaureate studies at other institutions. The College has an award-winning Division of Continuing Education & Workforce Development that offers professional development courses and certificate-bearing workforce training programs. Hostos is part of The City University of New York (CUNY), the nation's leading urban public university, which serves more than 480,000 students at 24 colleges.