Heidelberg awarded $1M+ in new Choose Ohio First funding

Heidelberg University just received a big boost in its ongoing quest to contribute to the statewide development of STEM talent in Ohio. President Rob Huntington has announced that the University will receive $1.050 million in Choose Ohio First funding.  

The recent award is Heidelberg’s second through the Choose Ohio First program. In 2021, the University received $450,450 over five years. This new $1.05 million award is in addition to the 2021 award and also runs for five years.

Heidelberg will use the funds for scholarships for eligible students in 14 STEM-related fields including the university’s newest major, Data Analytics. Other academic programs include: Environmental Science, Computer Science, Education (Math, Science, Biology and Chemistry specialization), Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Health Sciences, Nursing, Water Resources and Master of Arts in Counseling.

Students majoring in the STEM fields for the first time are eligible to apply for the Choose Ohio First scholarship, said Cathy Belfiore, Director of Financial Aid at Heidelberg. “Students changing their major to a STEM program and some graduate programs are eligible as well,” she added.

Choose Ohio First scholars also will have additional resources as they navigate toward professional careers. “Funding from the Choose Ohio First grant will provide our STEM areas with additional resources to engage students in career planning,” said Dr. Carole Thomas, Director of Career and Military Services at Heidelberg and an author of the grant.

By participating in the Choose Ohio First program, Heidelberg continues its efforts to develop future professionals in fields with critical shortages such as mental health, nursing, education and water resources, Thomas added. Choose Ohio First scholars at Heidelberg will be linked with local and regional businesses to network as they complete their degrees and enter their job search. “Heidelberg hopes to achieve a 90 percent career placement by the 2025-26 academic year,” she said.

The additional funding will allow Heidelberg to continue to grow and expand its STEM enrollment numbers, which will ultimately lead to larger numbers of future employees in in-demand professions.

Ohio has committed more than $200 million to STEM and STEM education scholarships over the past five years in an effort to meet the needs of Ohio’s employers.

“The Choose Ohio First program has significantly strengthened Ohio’s competitiveness within STEM disciplines, and our campuses, including Heidelberg University, have done an excellent job of preparing their STEM scholars for success,” said Ohio Department of Education Chancellor Randy Gardner. “I applaud Heidelberg University for being among this latest group of awardees.”

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