Ohio Wesleyan University has received a five-year, $830,466 Choose Ohio First grant to fund scholarships for Ohio residents pursuing degrees in the STEM fields of science (including medicine), technology, engineering and mathematics.
The State of Ohio and Ohio Department of Higher Education announced Ohio Wesleyan’s grant on Monday. The Choose Ohio First (COF) grants are part of a state initiative designed to “help create the talent needed to make Ohio’s businesses competitive in the 21st century knowledge economy.”
“Ohio Wesleyan is honored to be recognized for its role in helping to build a stronger Ohio through our faculty’s work to educate students in critical STEM fields,” said Ohio Wesleyan President Rock Jones, Ph.D., noting that was the first time OWU had applied for COF grant funding.
“We believe a strong liberal arts education prepares STEM students to work successfully toward the betterment of society and builds a foundation for a strong and stable economy,” Jones said. “Our Choose Ohio First grant will create positive ripples that benefit Ohio for years to come.”
Ohio Wesleyan will begin awarding the COF funds this fall to selected students enrolling in one of 13 academic areas and 29 STEM-related majors. In addition to four-year renewable scholarships, the student-recipients also will receive comprehensive career and support services as well as guaranteed internship and research opportunities.
Many Ohio Wesleyan STEM graduates will go on to complete advanced degrees, and their OWU educations will serve them well, said Stefanie Niles, Ed.D., Ohio Wesleyan’s vice president for enrollment and communications.
“Ohio Wesleyan ranks No. 68 among all U.S. colleges, both public and private, for the percentage of STEM graduates who go on to earn a Ph.D. in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics,” Niles said. “OWU also ranks No. 46 for women who go on to earn doctorates and No. 21 for women who earn doctorates in either biological or life sciences.”
These rankings, issued in 2019 by the Council of Independent Colleges, are based on data from the National Science Foundation, National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, and Survey of Earned Doctorates.
Ohio Department of Higher Education Chancellor Randy Gardner said Ohio Wesleyan’s Choose Ohio First grant will help the university continue its success in preparing students to earn advanced degrees.
“Choose Ohio First provides an excellent opportunity for those students who stay in Ohio and continue their education to get the skills they need to succeed in promising career fields,” Gardner said. “This new scholarship will help Ohio Wesleyan University continue to be one of the nation’s leading producers of STEM graduates who go on to earn their Ph.D.”
Ohio Wesleyan was one of 57 Ohio colleges and universities earning COF grants this year, according to the Ohio Department of Higher Education. Including today’s grants, the COF program supports an estimated 6,400 Ohio college students of all ages. Learn more about the Choose Ohio First grant program at www.ohiohighered.org/cof.
Learn more about Ohio Wesleyan’s STEM-related majors, enrolling at the university, and scholarship opportunities at www.owu.edu/admission.
Follow The Delaware Gazette on Twitter @delgazette. Like The Gazette on Facebook.