West Virginia State University Hosts Virtual STEM Scholars Academy

Contact: Jack Bailey
(304) 766-4109
September 17, 2020
West Virginia State University Hosts Virtual STEM Scholars Academy
Program Pairs High School Students with WVSU Mentors for College Readiness
INSTITUTE, W.Va. – The West Virginia State University (WVSU) Center for the Advancement of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (CASTEM) is accepting applicants to a new cohort of the STEM Scholars Academy, a virtual program that pairs high school students with college mentors. The Academy is open to all West Virginia high school students and will run from October 2020 through May 2021.

The seven-month program will pair high school students interested in STEM careers with a current WVSU student mentor for information sessions to prepare them for transition into becoming a successful STEM major. 

“Our WVSU student mentors help our Academy participants develop study skills, create time management plans, set and reach academic goals, and delve into the college application process,” said Hannah Payne, director of WVSU CASTEM. Participants and mentors meet virtually twice a month for one hour.

The ultimate goal of the STEM Scholars Academy is to increase the number of career-ready underrepresented graduates with the skills and education needed to work in agriculture and food industries, agriculture science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and related fields.

Drawing from research on best practices, the STEM Scholars Academy includes intensive mentoring, college orientation and student progress follow-ups that will promote cultural competence and foster a culture of equity and inclusion.

Research shows that most of the 30 fastest-growing occupations in the next decade will require STEM skills, including an estimated 2.8 million STEM jobs that will be created in just four years. However, only 16% percent of American high school seniors are interested in a STEM career, and the problem is worse for girls and minority youths, who are significantly under-represented in STEM degrees and careers. 

The STEM Scholars Academy launched in 2019 and was originally funded by the Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation. It is being expanded with funding from the 1890 Universities Foundation. 

Applications are open through September 30. Apply online at

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West Virginia State University is a public, land grant, historically black university, which has evolved into a fully accessible, racially integrated, and multigenerational institution, located in Institute, W.Va. As a “living laboratory of human relations,” the university is a community of students, staff, and faculty committed to academic growth, service and preservation of the racial and cultural diversity of the institution. Its mission is to meet the higher education and economic development needs of the state and region through innovative teaching and applied research.
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