news-category: Academics

Gardner-Webb Receives One of 12 Grants for Faculty-Student STEM Mentoring

Two female students talking with a computer between them

North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities Awards $25,000 to Enhance Tutoring Programs

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—Gardner-Webb University’s Student Success Division has received a three-year grant totaling $25,000 from North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU). The N.C. GlaxoSmithKline Foundation provided the funds to establish faculty-student STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering or Math) mentoring programs, and NCICU awarded grants to 12 member institutions. The programs are designed to improve student retention and graduation rates among first generation college students, women, and students of color majoring in a STEM field.

“We are grateful for this new grant support from the NCICU, as it gives us the chance to do some innovative things in support of our first-generation students,” explained GWU President William Downs. “We know that students and employers are increasingly interested in STEM skills, and Gardner-Webb is intentionally stepping up to meet that demand.”

A student proudly displays her diploma during the graduation ceremony

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Karen Aubrey said the award will enhance and strengthen Gardner-Webb’s tutoring programs. “I’m thrilled and grateful that we’ve been chosen out of a few NCICU schools to receive this grant,” she praised. “It will aid us in our mentoring efforts in STEM areas that students often find challenging, and it will provide us with more avenues to support our students and better ensure their success in their studies. The award is affirmation of the power of combining a compelling idea with a need that exists, all to offer a solution to support a worthwhile goal.”

In addition to meeting one-on-one with students, peer mentors and staff will learn how to create video tutorials that can provide on-demand refreshers whenever students need to review a subject. The mentors will also learn how to produce two-minute video critiques of their mentees’ projects or papers.

The grant will also be used by faculty in health sciences to incorporate videos to help students master difficult concepts, such as science and math/dosage calculations. Funds will also support a student math tutor who could assist with dimensional analysis and calculations.

Student Success will also establish a new mentoring program to target probationary students. This initiative will be a structured program required for all students on academic probation. Students will be registered for a 14-week program that will combine in-person and online success mentoring. The focus will be on setting goals for academics as well as personal and career.

Gardner-Webb University is North Carolina’s recognized leader in private, Christian higher education. A Carnegie-Classified Doctoral/Professional University, GWU is home to six professional schools, 14 academic departments, more than 80 undergraduate and graduate majors, and a world-class faculty. Located on a beautiful 225-acre campus in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb prepares graduates to impact their chosen professions, equips them with the skills to advance the frontiers of knowledge, and inspires them to make a positive and lasting difference in the lives of others. Ignite your future at

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