old main

Chance to Change Lives Partners with Washington Jefferson College to Launch STEMnetX to Expand Experiential Learning Opportunities in STEM Workforce Training in Western PA

Created: April 6, 2023  |  Last Updated: April 27, 2023  |  Category:   |  Tagged: , ,

WASHINGTON, PA (March 30, 2023) – Chance to Change Lives (CCL-US) and Washington & Jefferson College have announced a new partnership aimed at increasing workforce training in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) through experiential learning for undergraduate students with a focus on diversity, inclusivity, and empowering students from historically marginalized groups.

The partnership will focus on creating a unique training program that provides undergraduate students from diverse backgrounds with hands-on learning experiences in STEM fields. This workforce development initiative will provide students at W&J opportunities to network with STEM researchers and professionals in Western Pennsylvania. Through this partnership, students will have the opportunity to work on real-world projects in STEM fields, gaining practical experience that will make them more competitive in the job market. The program will also provide students access to mentoring, internships, and other career development resources.

“When presented with the opportunity, we were excited to partner with CCL-US,” said Dr. Jeff Frick, W&J Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College. “We see the partnership as an opportunity to enhance what we are doing with our students while contributing to the ongoing need for STEM professionals.”

Associate Dean Mike McCracken noted that “The STEM programs at W&J have always been committed to training students in professional, transferrable skills, which has led many of our students to success in graduate programs and research careers in the natural sciences. This exciting partnership with CCL will help to strengthen W&J students’ STEM identities and highlight the many connections between STEM skills and rewarding careers in many fields.”

“We are committed to empowering students from marginalized groups and providing them with the resources they need for STEM careers,” said Dr. Rama Bala, CEO of CCL-US and an affiliate physics faculty member. “This partnership is an important step towards building a more diverse and inclusive STEM workforce and ensuring that all students have the chance to pursue their dreams. We are thrilled to facilitate research experiences for undergraduate students. We can help bridge the gap in STEM fields and create a more equitable society,” said Dr. Bala.

The partnership creates opportunities for community building with other regional educational institutions, providing students access to networking events, workshops, and other opportunities to connect with peers and mentors in their field. The partnership between W&J and CCL-US is an important step towards increasing workforce training in Western PA through experiential learning with a focus on diversity, inclusivity, and empowering students from marginalized groups. It is an innovative approach to addressing the skills gap in STEM fields and providing students with the skills they need to succeed in their careers.

About Washington & Jefferson College 
Washington & Jefferson College, proudly located in Washington, Pennsylvania, is a historic liberal arts college founded in 1781 that values ethical leadership, professional readiness, and inclusive communities. Our highly customized and intellectually engaging student experience develops professionals of uncommon integrity to lead in an ever-changing world. For more information about W&J, visit www.washjeff.edu, or call 888-W-AND-JAY.

About CCL-US
The Chance to Change Lives foundation (CCL-US) is a non-profit organization with a ‘pay-it-forward’ vision to mentor and support the next generation of leaders and knowledge creators in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields. Our organization was founded with a mission to support high impact experiential learning experiences for undergraduate students, especially from under-represented groups, to prepare them for twenty-first century research and development careers STEM disciplines.