Welcome to DVC’s PUMA STEM Scholars Project!

And that is just the beginning. Program benefits also include:

Cohort Community

Cohort Community

Instructors in the project offer classroom experiences that challenge, inspire, and promote collaborative learning. The spirit of the learning communities is to educate, as you might expect, but to also build community amongst students and faculty. Together, we will build a strong, FUN start on your transfer path in your science, math or engineering major.

Faculty Mentors

Faculty Mentors

The PUMA STEM Scholars will be linked with student and faculty mentors. The mentor experience will improve scholars’ connection to the campus community, provide guidance to improve your resilience and persistence, and provide a valuable partner throughout your time at DVC.

Career Exploration

Career Exploration

PUMA STEM Scholars will be invited into DVC’s MESA Program (Math, Engineering, and Science Achievement), one of the programs housed in our PUMA Center. Through MESA, students will have access to community leaders, career exploration opportunities, DVC STEM Alumni events, and internship opportunities to expand their professional connections and interests.

Dedicated Student Supports

Dedicated Student Supports

PUMA STEM Scholars will build an educational plan in collaboration with a counselor sensitive to the unique needs of STEM majors with intent to transfer. Scholars will also receive support from a dedicated Student Retention Specialist committed to connecting them to college and community supports that meet their needs.

About the program

The PUMA STEM Scholars Project is a Research and Scholarship program funded through a grant from the National Science Foundation. The project explores the role that learning communities can play in improving successful transfer outcomes for STEM students. The project has two major components:

  • A learning community pairing an early math and science course common to many STEM majors with numerous curricular and extracurricular supports.
  • An annual scholarship renewable for up to three years of up to $4,300 annually for students with demonstrated academic potential who meet and maintain eligibility.

This project is supported by NSF S-STEM Award #2028005.


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What is included in a learning community?

The PUMA STEM Scholars project is for students interested in joining a STEM learning community which is a linked pairing of classes. All students in the learning community take both classes together in the same two sections in the same semester.

The PUMA STEM Scholars project offers three possible learning communities for STEM students every fall and spring semester:

  • Option 1: All STEM Entry
    Introductory Chemistry (CHEM 108) and Trigonometry with supports (MATH 121 with 021) (8 units total)
  • Option 2: Chemistry/Biology Transfer Pathways
    General Chemistry I (CHEM 120) and Precalculus (MATH 191) (10 units total)
  • Option 3: Physics/Chemistry/Engineering/Computer Science Pathways
    Introduction to Physics for Scientists and Engineers (PHYS 129) and Calculus I (MATH-192) (9 units total)

To join the program, students must enroll in one of these learning communities. Any students who need both of the courses in a pairing are encouraged to apply!

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What is the application process?

All students who need one of our learning communities are eligible to join but must apply. The application involves:

  • Submit the PUMA STEM Scholars Application
  • If you are interested in the scholarship benefit, you must also apply to the FAFSA (Link to FAFSA).
  • Students who apply will do a phone interview with a member of the leadership team to learn more about them and how the program can best support their academic needs (Brief, 15-20 min). Students must complete a phone interview to register for our learning communities!
  • Students who are determined to be scholarship eligible will be invited to an in-person interview:
    • Interviews will be held July 26th – August 15th for Fall Learning communities
    • Interviews will be held December 16th – January 15th for Spring Learning Communities
  • To be considered for our scholarship awards, apply by:
    • July 25th for Fall learning communities
    • December 15th for Spring learning communities
  • Scholarships will be awarded:
    • Second Week of August for Fall learning communities
    • Second Week of January for Spring learning communities
  • Any scholarships not awarded by the priority deadlines will be awarded on a rolling basis.

How do students get the scholarship?

Only students who meet the following criteria are eligible for the annual scholarship. Students must be:

  • Working towards a major with intent to transfer to a four-year institution in one of the
    following areas:
    • Biology (but not with a clinical or premedical intent)
    • Natural Sciences (Chemistry, Geology, Astronomy)
    • Math
    • Physics
    • Engineering
    • Computer Science
  • Scholarships will be awarded based on a students unmet financial need in awards of up
    to $4,300 annually for up to three years. To maintain scholarship eligibility, students
    must remain a scholar in good standing. To receive the scholarship, students must be:
    • low-income and demonstrate financial need, defined for undergraduate
      students by rules for need-based Federal financial aid using the Free Application
      for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If you have not done so, apply for financial aid now.
    • a US Citizen, US National, or legally admitted as a refugee or through
      application for permanent residence. DACA individuals are not eligible for the
      scholarship unless they meet one of these requirements. If you are not sure,
      please email the Principal Investigator, Ellen Beaulieu (lbeaulieu@dvc.edu).
  • If you do not meet the requirements for the scholarship, you should still apply! We have
    spots for ten scholars who may not receive the financial benefit but who will get all other
    benefits of the program!

Apply Now

Who should I contact for more information?

Ellen Beaulieu
Professor of Chemistry, Principal Investigator
lbeaulieu@dvc.edu

Kathy Weber
Professor of Math, Co-Principal Investigator
kweber@dvc.edu

Alicia Brizzi
EOPS Counselor/Chemistry Counseling Liaison
abrizzi@dvc.edu