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News Release

Santiago Canyon College’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Program Earns a $3,000,000 US Dept of Education Federal Grant


​​For Immediate Release:

(August 30, 2022) – ORANGE, CA – Santiago Canyon College's (SCC) fall 2022 semester just got off to an even grander start with news that its Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) program was recently awarded a $3,000,000 Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) grant designed to increase STEM enrollment and persistence particularly for Hispanic, low-income and first-generation students.

Titled Systemic Design for STEM Success, grant funding began October 1, 2022, and provides $700,000 in annual funds through September 2026, according to SCC Associate Professor of Mathematics and Sciences and Project Director, Vanessa Jones.

The federal HSI STEM program seeks to: 1) Improve academic quality of STEM programs through increased student support; 2) Promote research opportunities for students in STEM fields; 3) Provide or improve student services including counseling, tutoring, mentoring and establishing a strong STEM community for students; and 4) Encourage secondary students to pursue STEM degrees and careers through outreach activities:

At SCC, STEM students will be guided through the educational process starting from the summer prior to their first semester at SCC through enrollment at one of the local, four-year institutions such as California State University, Fullerton (CSUF), University of California, Irvine (UCI) or Chapman.

Participating students will have access to STEM Pathway and career counseling, intervention strategies, workshops, increased opportunity to apply for financial aid, research and internships, as well as summer activities. Once STEM students make substantial progress at SCC, they will begin the process of touring the local four-year institutions to connect with similar support services in preparation for the next phase of their academic journey.

“We're incredibly thankful for the many SCC departments, programs, faculty and staff who joined efforts, pledging their time and energy to make this grant happen," commented Assoc. Professor Jones. “Special recognition goes to Biology and Mathematics Instructors, Denise Foley and Joyce Wagner, for spearheading the project."

Rancho Santiago Community College District (RSCCD) administrators were equally as supportive in providing their expertise.

Assoc. Professor Jones extends a heartful thanks to following team members who made important contributions to this grant:  SCC's STEM Success Team; Maria Chaidez, Macey Lachman, and Phil Crabill (Counseling); Kimberly Jonson, (Biology); Kaydeh Kaveh (Research); Elaine Pham (Non-Credit); Cynthia Swift (Physics); Aaron Volker (Dean, Institutional Effectiveness, Library & Learning Support Services); Martin Stringer (Dean, Mathematics and Sciences); Loann Tran (Director, Special Programs, Admissions & Records); Sarah Santoyo ( RSCCD - Assistant Vice Chancellor, Educational Services Resource Development); Huong Nguyen (RSCCD - Resource Development) and Kevin Bui (RSCCD - Accounting).

For information on how to participate in SCC's Systemic Design for STEM Success grant team, contact Assoc. Professor Vanessa Jones, via email at or by calling: 714.628.4948.

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About Santiago Canyon College -
Santiago Canyon College (SCC) is one of two colleges in the Rancho Santiago Community College District. Accredited in 2000, this dynamic and award-winning institution is located in Southern California, in the city of Orange, and provides an array of educational opportunities to the over 195,000 residents comprising the eclectic community. SCC offers 221 degree and certificate programs (including 28 transferable associate degrees). Ranked among the “50 Best Community Colleges" in the U.S. by College Choice, SCC was recognized multiple times by the Chronicle of Higher Education as one of “The Great Colleges to Work for," received Gold-level status as a Military Friendly School® and boasts dedicated faculty, high-quality and student-centered education, with excellent university transfer rates supported by transfer-guarantee programs. For more info, visit:


Lilia Rodriguez
Public Information Officer
Santiago Canyon College
Office: 714.828.5936