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
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.
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.
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.
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!
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
Students who are determined to be scholarship eligible will be invited to an in-person
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
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)
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
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
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 (email@example.com).
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!