California approves $5 million to fund diversity in science and technology education

California approves $5 million to fund diversity in science and technology education

  • Technology
  • July 6, 2022
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  • 6 minutes read


The state of California has approved $ 5 million in funding for the Cal-Bridge program, which provides a pathway for underrepresented students in California community colleges and the California State University (CSU) system to study. advanced doctoral degrees through the University of California system and join. the California science and technology workforce, included as a public university professor.

The Cal-Bridge program, launched in 2014, is a state partnership between 9 UCs, 23 CSUs and 116 California community colleges that support CSU students specializing in physics, computer science, and math to enroll in programs. doctorate statewide and nationwide. The new state budget allocation for the state of California will allow Cal-Bridge to expand the thematic areas covered and expand its impact, supporting Cal-Bridge scholars from their CSU undergraduate studies to their UC doctorates.

“The new state funding will offer more young Californians from historically underrepresented communities the opportunity to pursue a doctorate and access the support needed to successfully complete the degree and thrive in the chosen professions,” said Lori Kletzer, campus rector and executive vice-chancellor. at UC Santa Cruz.

Bruce Schumm, a physics professor at UC Santa Cruz who co-directs the Cal-Bridge program in northern California, said plans for the expansion include the development of a comprehensive support and professional development program. during the years of graduate studies. “This generous state funding will allow us to complete a unique, end-to-end path that can support students at our diverse community university and CSU campus from the first steps of their college education to their entry. in academic and industrial careers., ”he said.

The expanded program will create a pathway for thousands of California students from different backgrounds to gain the experience needed to fill technology leadership positions and college faculty in California and beyond.

“Teacher diversification will lead to a growth in the representation of gender, race and ethnicity in the technological workforce more broadly, increasing the number of students from historically underrepresented groups who complete degrees in STEM fields because they see teachers who are ‘they look like them,’ Cal said. -The Bridge Executive Director Alexander Rudolph, Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Cal Poly Pomona. “As countries around the world are increasing their investment in science and technology, making sure our nation uses all available talent to develop our experience and capabilities in these fields is a matter of economic and national security. “.

“I am very proud to have raised $ 5 million in the California state budget for the Cal-Bridge program to diversify the state’s science and technology workforce,” said Assembly Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Irvine), which was the main sponsor of the effort to win funding for the initiative in the state budget. “Breaking down barriers to access to STEM fields for historically underrepresented groups and diversifying California public university faculty will help California continue to thrive as a world-class center of innovation.”

UCSC graduate student Rene Padilla is a Cal-Bridge Fellow who accredits the program with a PhD. Padilla began his training at Modesto Junior College, and received his bachelor’s degree in physics from Stanislaus State in 2019.

“Making the transition from a community university to a CSU campus was a challenge,” Padilla said. “However, making the transition from a CSU to a doctorate was even more difficult and complex. However, the Cal-Bridge community gave me the tools to make the transition successfully and move towards the school of my dreams. Now, after several years, I am a candidate for a doctorate in physics at UC Santa Cruz. I never imagined I could get this far, but having the support of a program like Cal-Bridge marked a “It’s a big difference in my life. I’m sure increasing the resources of the Cal-Bridge program will increase the chances of students like me entering high-level education programs.”

Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), chairman of the Assembly Budget Committee and Nancy Skinner (D-East Bay), chairman of the Senate Budget Committee together helped introduce appropriation to the state budget and both are delighted to support the Cal-Bridge Initiative. Ting commented: “Cal-Bridge is a unique treasure in California, which guarantees fair and equal access to all the opportunities offered by our state’s excellent higher education system. Cal-Bridge opens the doors for everyone in our state to the most exciting and well-paid careers in science and technology, regardless of where their training begins. I’m excited to support Cal-Bridge, to see it funded in this year’s budget, and I look forward to seeing it grow to benefit thousands of Californians over the next few years. “

Skinner added, “California has made progress in diversifying our public colleges and universities, but there is still a lot of work to be done. Black and Latino students, in particular, remain underrepresented on our CSU and UC campuses. Cal-Bridge program is essential to closing this racial gap, which is why I am proud that the legislature and the governor have agreed to fund it in this year’s state budget.Cal-Bridge is not only effective in attracting underrepresented students to the fields. STEM, but also to ensure that our cohort of future university professors of physics, computer science and mathematics is also diverse. “

For more information, visit www.calbridge.org.

About Cal-Bridge: The mission of the Cal-Bridge program is to create a comprehensive, end-to-end route for undergraduate students from the diverse student population of the CSU system to graduate school to a doctorate, a postdoctoral fellowship, and, ultimately, membership in faculty and in science and technology. labor force. The students in the program are called Cal-Bridge scholars.

The program is a partnership between the 9th University of California (UC), the 23rd State University of California (CSU) and the 116th community college campuses in California, fulfilling the promise of cross-cutting cooperation under the California Higher Education Master Plan . . Students are recruited from CSU and community campuses across the state, with the help of local faculty and / or staff links from each campus. Community college students move to a participating CSU to join the program.



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