Northern Virginia Community College to Invest Over $2.2 million in STEM

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Provided by NOVA

November 13, 2014 – Prince William County, Va. – Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) plans to invest over $2.2 million in a new college-wide initiative to persuade more students to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) two- and four-year degrees.

With funding support from the Virginia Community College System over the next three years, NOVA will invest in equipment and faculty development to ensure students receive the most current approaches to STEM training.  Students in STEM courses will have access to electron scanning microscopes, atomic force microscopes and other leading edge technologies.  Each of NOVA’s six campuses will designate a STEM flagship program that will receive additional resources.

Manassas Provost Roger Ramsammy said: “An urgent need exists to increase the number of STEM graduates to help the Northern Virginia region remain viable competitors in the international knowledge-based marketplace and NOVA’s college-wide STEM initiative answers this challenge.”

According to “Recovery: Job Growth and Education Requirements Through 2020” from the Georgetown University Center on Education and Workforce, the number of jobs in STEM will increase by 32 percent in the Commonwealth of Virginia by 2020.  More than 90 percent of those jobs will require post-secondary education.

With two campuses and an educational center in Prince William County, NOVA’s new STEM initiative will continue to strengthen Prince William County’s already robust talent pipeline with additional laboratory technicians, researches, scientists and engineers.  The initiative also builds on the success of NOVA’s SySTEMic Solutions program that presently impacts 4,000 Prince William County K-12 students and is projected to reach 40,000 students by 2016 – creating the next generation STEM talent pipeline.

In addition to motivating more students to pursue careers in STEM fields, the initiative aims to enrich student experiences with new curricular and extra-curricular STEM opportunities.  NOVA’s goals also include improved diversity in NOVA’s STEM enrollment and the promotion of STEM education through collaboration with the regional community, industries and government agencies.

“By providing access to innovative technologies and curricula, NOVA will be able to equip students with the competitive skills they need for satisfying, well-paying careers.” said Ramsammy, who is leading the effort with Melvyn Schiavelli, executive vice president, academic and student services.

Charged with implementation and facilitation of NOVA’s STEM plan, Dr. Ia Gomez, Assistant Dean for Sciences, shared that she is looking forward to placing NOVA at the forefront of STEM education in the United States.  To learn more about NOVA’s STEM initiative contact Dr. Ia Gomez at or visit


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