New scholarships will support students learning the latest advancements in computer science.

The Ohio State University is one of 35 colleges and universities across the state to receive support from the Choose Ohio First program. The new scholarships will boost Ohio’s efforts to strengthen the state’s workforce in technology-related fields such as coding and cybersecurity.

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted and Department of Higher Education Chancellor Randy Gardner announced the details of the program on Friday.

“The Choose Ohio First program is one of our state’s best tools to increase the number of students preparing to work in STEM-related fields,” Husted said. “In today’s technology-infused economy, every industry and business has important tech-focused jobs and training Ohioans for careers in those positions is key to growing our economy.”

A total of $20,580,770 will be awarded over the next five years and support 1,400 students. The grant for Ohio State is $2,582,790.

“This support will advance learning in areas vital to workforce development and Ohio’s innovation economy,” said President Michael V. Drake.

The Choose Ohio First scholarship program began in 2008 as a way to increase the number of Ohio students enrolling in and successfully completing science, technology, engineering, math, and medicine (STEMM) programs the state’s public and independent colleges and universities. Husted, who was Ohio House Speaker at the time, led the efforts to create the program.

The scholarships are part of a strategy to increase enrollment and completion in computer science and related areas. ODHE is also promoting the use of the funds to assist students to obtain credentials and certificates in computer science areas, allowing them to add more demonstrated skills to their portfolio.

Community colleges, independent four-year colleges and universities, and public four-year universities are receiving funds. Gardner said this range of school participation demonstrates the commitment of Ohio’s higher education community to respond to student interests and the state’s economic needs.

Source: Ohio State News/Chris Booker; Image by James Osborne from Pixabay

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