MiraCosta College Receives Grant from San Diego Foundation


MiraCosta College Receives Grant from San Diego Foundation

The Office of Advancement and the Department of Biotechnology at MiraCosta College proudly announce a $70,000 grant from San Diego Foundation! The college will receive the funds to support MiraCosta’s biotech students with work-based learning: paid internships and professional development including pairing students with faculty and/or industry mentors.

“Through this grant from the San Diego Foundation Science and Technology Program, we'll be able to provide up to 16 paid internships for students historically underserved by higher education,” said Dean of Math and Sciences Mike Fino. “We're expecting that the technical and soft skills learned through this experience will promote their ongoing success and retention in their STEM education.”

MiraCosta student Zanye Randel hopes to major in environmental chemistry after she transfers to UCSD. She's currently in the SALSA (Science and Laboratory Skills Advancement) Program, which is a campus employment program with a lab-based, skill development approach to promote engagement and a sense of belonging in the sciences. Zayne said, "there are so many ways to be a scientist and knowing that can be really liberating. Through SALSA, I'm able to get lab shifts in biotech, chemistry, biology, and the physical sciences. I can experience and explore other areas of STEM that can either crystallize my current path or allow me to develop an interest I didn't know I had before. All the while, I'm learning skills and collaborating with other lab professionals."

 Expected Grant Outcomes:

Specific - Approximately 12 to 16 students will be placed in work-based learning positions with the college’s industry and academic laboratories. The students will work with scientific mentors on projects that develop sector-specific workforce skills.

Measurable - In collaboration with the department’s laboratory partners, students will receive industry-recognized training and guaranteed interviews with employer partners for all student participants for extended positions. The extended positions currently have over a 90 percent job placement forecast for student-employee retention.

Achievable - Staff will identify projects and mentors that are committed to fostering the development of student candidates. The plan will be to work with the department’s network of multiple sector partners from academia and industry (over 125 sector partners) to ensure a robust work-based learning initiative and robust talent pipeline.

Results – Outcomes include technical skills obtained, research project progression, soft skills, and other key employability milestones. It is anticipated that over 90 percent of stakeholders will report strengthened employability skills, and over 90 percent of students will remain with companies they interned for or will find positions in other companies offering upward mobility and increased wages. Student learning and job outcomes will be evaluated through surveys for both students and employers upon completion of the internship.

Time - The project timelines will be based on the student’s workload and availability—six months for students working full-time, or nine to twelve months for students with part-time availability.

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