SMART scholarships for STEM students
You could get paid to earn a degree in science, technology, engineering, or math—and get hired at graduation. If you think that sounds like a SMART deal, you're right.
The Science, Mathematics And Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship for Service Program offers scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. Administered by the U.S. Department of Defense, SMART scholarships offer full tuition and related expenses, paid summer internships, and cash awards of up to $38,000 per year. The scholarships assist students seeking a degree in any of 19 STEM disciplines, including chemistry, computer science, oceanography, mechanical engineering, and behavioral science.
Award recipients must keep a minimum grade-point average (GPA) of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale), pursue an eligible degree in a STEM discipline at an accredited U.S. college or university, and pass a security clearance. After graduation, recipients must work as a civilian research scientist or engineer at a Department of Defense facility for an amount of time equal to the duration of their scholarship.
Applicants must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years old. The deadline for online applications, official transcripts, references, and other documents is Dec. 15. For more information and full eligibility requirements, visit smart.asee.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (202) 331-3544.
Dual enrollment: Not just for high achievers anymore
Dual enrollment programs—which allow high school students to take college courses—were designed for high-achieving students hoping to get a head start on college. But a 2011 report published by the James Irvine Foundation suggests ways to expand dual enrollment to assist struggling, low-income, and other disadvantaged students.
The report, Different Approaches to Dual Enrollment: Understanding Program Features and Their Implications, describes eight dual-enrollment programs in California. Although the programs differ in some ways, all seek to help a broad range of students move successfully from high school to college. And each program uses a career-focused approach: Community and business partnerships enable students to apply on the job what they learn in the classroom.
According to the report, programs that offered student support services and relevant work-based learning experiences were among the most successful at encouraging low-income students to go to college. The Community College Research Center, which gathered data for the report, provides ongoing feedback to the programs.
The full report is available at ccrc.tc.columbia.edu/Publication.asp?uid=971.
Beyond the Numbers: A new way to look at BLS data
For a fresh perspective on labor statistics, see Beyond the Numbers. This online publication from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) presents a variety of information.
Articles in Beyond the Numbers highlight timely reports and trends from the many national and regional economic statistics that BLS produces. Several BLS publications—including Issues in Labor Statistics, Program Perspectives, Focus on Prices and Spending, and OES Highlights—have been consolidated to create Beyond the Numbers. By publishing articles related to many topics in one location, BLS makes analysis of its data more accessible to the general public.
Readers can browse the archives for a specific topic in Beyond the Numbers—and may discover related and other topics of interest. Recent article topics include energy prices, the employment situation of veterans, and changes in health benefits. New articles are published about every month and showcase the data that BLS produces.
Beyond the Numbers is published online in both
PDF and HTML formats. Check it out at www.bls.gov/opub/btn.
Building a stronger and more inclusive workforce
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. This year's theme is "A Strong Workforce is an Inclusive Workforce: What Can YOU Do?"
To help strengthen the workforce, many organizations offer resources for jobseekers with disabilities, including the following:
- Disability.gov, the federal government's Web portal for disability programs and services, has employment resources for jobseekers and workers. Jobseekers can use a search engine to find resources by location and click other links on the webpage to access information about job accommodations, government grants, and more. For more information, visit www.disability.gov/employment.
- Ticket to Work, a career development program within the Social Security Administration, partners Social Security recipients ages 18 to 64 with an employment network for career counseling, job placement, and support services. For more information, visit www.choosework.net or call toll free, 1 (866) 968-7842 or 1 (866) 833-2967 (TTY/TDD).
- Advocacy organization Autism Speaks provides 1-year internships for high school students with autism through Project SEARCH. Interns work in businesses to gain independence and marketable job skills. For more information about Project SEARCH and other employment resources, visit www.projectsearch.us.
- The Arc, an advocacy group for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, has many employment services. For example, the organization's School-to-Community Transition Initiative helps students move from high school to postsecondary education, employment, or independent living. For more information or to contact one of its 700 state or local chapters, visit www.thearc.org.
Additional information and resources about National Disability Employment Awareness Month are available from the Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy. Visit www.dol.gov/odep.