The scholarships are designed to strengthen Ohio’s competitiveness within STEMM disciplines by supporting students in innovative academic programs. They are aimed at increasing the enrollment and retention of students, boosting the number of STEMM graduates and educators in Ohio, and fostering funding collaborations that will have the most impact on Ohio’s position in critical fields of science such as medicine, technology, engineering, mathematics and nursing.
“A strong feature of our program is that not only do students earn a scholarship, but they also are provided opportunities for career-related internships, co-ops and undergraduate research as a required element of the program,” said Lance Cauley, associate director of Career Services at Wright State.
In April 2021, the Ohio Department of Higher Education awarded the university $1.07 million with a new five-year grant and $1.3 million to continue funding over the next four years as part of a grant awarded in 2020.
“This new award will double the amount of students that we can award this year and support over the entire course of their enrollment through graduation,” said Tim Littell, associate vice president for student success.
Choose Ohio First scholars work with career and academic advisers from their first year of enrollment through graduation.
The scholars are provided with opportunities to learn valuable career preparation skills such as industry research tools, résumé development and interviewing skills while also engaging in professional networking events.
The scholars also participate in experiential learning opportunities in partnership with local businesses and organizations, which have committed to presenting seminars on the opportunities in their fields and the skills needed to succeed. These experiences supplement the students’ academic development by offering diverse avenues to apply their education in various industry settings.
Wright State has participated in Choose Ohio First since its inception. The program supports the economic growth of the region by enhancing the production of graduates in the critical areas needed by organizations such as Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and the Air Force Research Laboratory.
It focuses on occupations such as engineering, biology, chemistry, mathematics and statistics, neuroscience, physics, information systems, medical lab science, public health, supply chain management and nursing.