Funds will be used to support graduate education in STEM fields
INSTITUTE, W.Va. – West Virginia State University (WVSU) will receive nearly $2.5 million in federal funding over the next six years to support graduate education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) through the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Masters Program.
Funds will be distributed annually in the amount of $416,666 beginning in fiscal year 2018 through 2023 and will be used to support WVSU’s master’s degree in Biotechnology.
 “The restoration of HBCU Masters funding will significantly impact West Virginia’s economy and society,” said WVSU Vice President for Research and Public Service Dr. Orlando F. McMeans. “This will translate into West Virginia State’s continued tradition of graduating highly competent, successful students who will go on to careers as scientists, physicians, dentists and other STEM occupations.”
Initially funded in 2008 through the U.S. Department of Education’s Higher Education Opportunity Act, the HBCU Masters program was created to improve graduate education opportunities at the master’s level in mathematics, engineering, physical or natural sciences, computer science, information technology, nursing, allied health and other scientific disciplines where African-American students are underrepresented. The program was cut in 2015, only to be reinstated for the coming fiscal year.
WVSU’s Master of Science in Biotechnology program provides cross-disciplinary education and training in 21st century concepts, preparing students for careers in a variety of industries. Biotechnology is, in essence, technology based on biology and harnesses molecular and cellular processes for product development and the advancement of technology. The program was among the University’s first master’s degree offerings when it gained university status in 2004.