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  • STEM CONNECT Information.




    Our mission

    nsf1-transparent-webThe STEM Career Opportunities in Nebraska: Networks, Experiential-learning, and Computational Thinking (STEM CONNECT) is an NSF-funded S-STEM (Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) scholarship program forming a partnership among the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), Southeast Community College (SCC), and Western Nebraska Community College (WNCC).

    STEM CONNECT awards scholarships to and provides curricular and co-curricular support to academically talented, low-income students with interest in careers that require strong skills in mathematics or computer science.


    To be eligible for a STEM CONNECT scholarship in Spring 2022, a student must:

    • Be a U.S. citizen, national (as defined in section 101(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act), alien admitted as refugees under section 207 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, or alien lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence. Please note that Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) individuals are ineligible for support from this solicitation unless they meet the requirements listed in the first sentence of this bullet;
    • Have begun college as a first-time freshman between Summer 2020 and Spring 2022;
    • At SCC or WNCC, be enrolled at least half-time in the Academic Transfer program and pursuing a program of study that will lead to an associate’s degree or transfer to a four year institution with the intent to major in one of the following STEM disciplines:
      • Biological sciences (medicine, nursing, or other health/clinical fields are NOT qualified for the scholarship); biotechnology will be considered.
      • physical sciences, including physics, chemistry, astronomy, and materials science;
      • mathematical sciences;
      • computer and information sciences;
      • geosciences;
      • engineering;
      • or technology areas associated with the preceding fields (e.g., biotechnology, chemical technology, engineering technology, information technology)
      • Applicants to SCC studying Energy Generations, Nuclear power generation and Information Systems may apply if they intend to purse STEM degree after their studies at SCC.
    • Commit to a program of study that will build strengths in computer science and mathematics and to active participation in the STEM CONNECT Scholars Community.

    How to Apply to SCC and WNCC

    The application process for a STEM CONNECT scholarship depends on your current educational status and your higher education plans.

    Southeast Community College (SCC) and Western Nebraska Community College (WNCC) are welcoming STEM CONNECT applications for Spring 2022 beginning September 15, 2021. Students are encouraged to apply as soon as possible as applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Deadline for Spring 2022 applications is December 10, 2021.

    After Spring 2020, UNL will no longer be accepting STEM CONNECT applications for first- and second-year students. Interested students that fall into this category can apply to SCC or WNCC, and in future semesters scholars will have the option to transfer their award to UNL.

    For Spring 2022:

    • If you are a first-year student at SCC or WNCC or applying to SCC or WNCC, you should apply at our CSMCE Application Portal.
    • First-year student: We define “first-year student” as a student who was either a high school student during the 2020-21 academic year or who graduated from high school in a previous year and has not previously attended college. Note that having taken college courses while still in high school or having attained sophomore standing because of advanced credit does not disqualify a first-year student from applying for a STEM CONNECT scholarship.
    • We also welcome applications from non-traditional students who previously pursued a technical program of study at a community college or who have been out of college for an extended period and have no more than 30 credits applicable to a STEM major.

    Benefits of the STEM CONNECT program

    • Community. STEM CONNECT Scholars will be part of a community of Scholars who share an interest in learning mathematics and computer science.
    • Proven curriculum. STEM CONNECT Scholars will have the opportunity to take special sections of five courses with their cohort during their first two years of support: two mathematics courses, two computer science courses, and a 1-credit seminar. The courses will be offered at all three institutions.
    • Mentoring. Scholars will be supported by a network of mentors, including a faculty mentor who meets regularly with mentees and participates in program activities, a peer mentor, and a staff adviser. Many STEM CONNECT Scholars also will have the opportunity to work as a Peer Mentor or a Learning Assistant and thus mentor newer STEM CONNECT Scholars.
    • The STEM CONNECT Seminar. Starting in Fall 2021, all STEM CONNECT Scholars will participate in a 1-credit course their first semester as a STEM CONNECT Scholar and bimonthly seminars in subsequent semesters. The seminar is designed to help students develop their leadership potential, gain valuable academic skills, become aware of available support services and resources on their campuses, build a common identity within the STEM CONNECT community, and learn about STEM career and education options. Once each month, the seminar will be held jointly on all three campuses using Zoom and will feature a guest speaker.


    What you need to know

    • STEM CONNECT Scholarships are need-based, with a maximum of $8,000/year. A student’s financial need is determined by U.S. Department of Education rules based on information provided with a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application.
    • Students who are supported by a STEM CONNECT scholarship at SCC or WNCC are eligible for support through the Fall of 2024 at either their community college or at UNL, provided students satisfy eligibility requirements. Students awarded scholarships through SCC or WNCC must attend at least one semester at the community college prior to transferring to UNL in a STEM CONNECT eligible major.
    • At SCC and WNCC, you must be in the academic transfer program at the time the scholarship is awarded, with a commitment to take math and computer science courses.
    • Scholars must maintain a 2.75 GPA in their first year of college or their first year after transferring to UNL and at least a 3.0 GPA in subsequent years. See our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for additional eligibility information.

    Contact us with any questions at sholay@southeast.edu.