NSF Awards College $1.3M to Improve Completion Rates for Bio Majors

Posted on: 8/9/2018

SYLMAR, CA – The National Science Foundation has awarded Los Angeles Mission College with a $1.3 million grant to support efforts to increase success rates for biology majors, college officials announced today.

Titled “Building Capacity: An Intervention to Improve Success of Biology Majors in Mathematics”, the project seeks to increase success rates for undergraduate biology students by providing them with additional support, such as weekly workshops to help them pass college algebra and trigonometry courses, according to the project’s principal investigator, Parvaneh Mohammadian, PhD, Vice Chair of Life Sciences at L.A. Mission College.

“By making the quantitative aspects of biology more engaging and relevant via academic success workshops, we hope to increase student success and retention rates in college algebra and trigonometry,” Dr. Mohammadian said. “The academic success workshops will facilitate student peer learning designed to increase a sense of community among students.”

L.A. Mission College’s project is one of 31 new projects funded by the NSF’s “Improving Undergraduate STEM Education: Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program”, which invests in projects that build capacity and increase retention and graduation rates for STEM students at HSIs. 

“Hispanics make up 16 percent of the U.S. workforce, but only 6 percent in the areas of STEM,” said Monte Perez, PhD, president of Los Angeles Mission College. “As an HSI with an 80 percent Hispanic population, we know that we’re in a fundamental position to improve those trends.”

L.A. Mission College’s project will begin receiving funding on October 1 and will continue until September 30, 2023.

The success of this grant award is an outcome of working collaboratively with Science Foundation Arizona through the Kickstarter Process, under National Science Foundation Grant No. HRD-1450661.


Los Angeles Mission College is committed to the success of our students. We provide accessible, affordable, high-quality learning opportunities in a culturally and intellectually supportive environment. 

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