The National Science Foundation has awarded Bakersfield College $552,000 to develop the STEM A+PLUS (Action, Persistence, Leadership, Understanding, and Success) Scholarships program. The STEM A+PLUS program is under the direction of co-principal investigators Wayne Cooper, Rageshwar Kaur Goldberg, Edward Ham, Liz Rozell, and Jose Saldivar, and was made possible by a grant application written by Bakersfield College STEM Program Director Rageshwar Kaur Goldberg.

The STEM A+PLUS scholarship program will provide $3,000 per year for three years to participating students, plus another $3,000 in their first semester of transfer to a four-year college or university.

"The STEM A+PLUS scholarship is designed to encourage academic excellence and help students focus on studies by providing financial support to be full-time students," said Goldberg. "The focus on studies in preparation for transfer is very important. We are looking to find the most successful students who will be fruitful in achieving STEM education and careers."

At Bakersfield College, STEM education encompasses science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. The majors eligible for the A+PLUS Scholarship are General Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Engineering, Computer Science, Geology and Mathematics. Students in the STEM A+PLUS program will work as a cohort during their education at Bakersfield College via service learning experiences at area middle schools to promote STEM education at an early age through science fair projects

"The cohort education allows students to gain skills they don't always learn in day-to-day academics," said Goldberg. "Lifelong success skills such as teamwork, collaboration, and communications are as vital as the discipline-specific education they will receive."

Partnerships with California State University, Bakersfield, the Kern County Superintendent of Schools Office, and Chevron will enhance programming for the cohort. This includes continuation of the Week Zero program before the start of Bakersfield College's fall semester, and presentations on transferring and careers in STEM.

The College is currently seeking 20 incoming freshman, entering August 2012, for the STEM A+PLUS scholarships. Interested high school seniors should contact Goldberg by email at or at 661-395-4298.

Applicants will need to complete an application, which includes two recommendations from teachers, copies of current transcripts, and two short essays. An additional round of 20 scholarships will be awarded for students starting courses at Bakersfield College in fall 2013.

-- Bakersfield College