Baylor School of Engineering and Computer Science Awarded $1 Million NSF Grant to Support High-Achieving Students with Demonstrated Financial Need

October 9, 2019
ECS NSF Grant for ECS Scholars

Baylor University's School of Engineering and Computer Science has been awarded a five-year, $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation's Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics ' or S-Stem ' program for the School's Engineering and Computer Science Scholars Program.

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ECS Contact: Jill Anderson, Baylor University School of Engineering and Computer Science, 254-710-6826

WACO, Texas (Oct. 9, 2019) – Baylor University’s School of Engineering and Computer Science has been awarded a five-year, $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation’s Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics – or S-Stem – program for the School’s Engineering and Computer Science Scholars Program.

The grant will support scholarships and activities for 22 students who are pursuing Bachelor of Science degrees in engineering, electrical and computer engineering, mechanical engineering, computer science and bioinformatics. ECS Scholars will participate in activities, including an orientation, a monthly seminar series and faculty mentoring.

The purpose of the program is to increase STEM degree completion of high-achieving undergraduates with a demonstrated financial need. Through the course of the program, ECS Scholar progress will be tracked and documented in addition to using predictive analytics toward achieving benchmark goals in retention, graduation rates, internships, undergraduate research experiences and job placement.

Michael W. Thompson, Ph.D., associate dean of undergraduate programs and professor of electrical and computer engineering and principal investigator for the project, said the grant will contribute to the national need for well-educated scientists, mathematicians, engineers and technicians by supporting the retention and graduation of high-achieving, low-income students.

“Baylor places a strong emphasis on undergraduate education and devotes considerable resources toward helping students find academic success,” Thompson said. “We look forward to learning how to apply predictive analytics toward matching ECS Scholars with the appropriate resources and providing mentoring support to help them achieve success in STEM professions.”

Baylor’s School of Engineering and Computer Science partnered with Baylor School of Education faculty members Nathan Alleman, Ph.D., associate professor of educational leadership, and Nicholas Benson, Ph.D., associate professor as a co-principal investigator and program manager, respectively, on the project.

Alleman is serving as the educational researcher on the grant, specializing in the intersection of participant’s perceptions of student risk factors with predictive analytics software. Reflective of the grant’s focus on underrepresented student groups, Alleman’s teaching and research frequently converge around his interests in marginal and marginalized populations and institutions.

Benson is working as the external evaluator on the project. His research focuses on psychological and educational assessment, with an emphasis on examining the validity of interpretations and uses of test scores.

“This project represents an ideal convergence of expertise from across Baylor University that will support the holistic success of STEM students from underrepresented backgrounds, reflective of Baylor’s mission,” Alleman said.

Also serving as co-principal investigators are Anne Spence, Ph.D., assistant chair and clinical associate professor of mechanical engineering; Bill Booth, Ph.D., senior lecturer of computer science; and Carolyn Skurla, Ph.D., associate professor of mechanical engineering.

“Many of the high-achieving students we will be recruiting under this grant will be the first in their family to go to college,” Spence said. “We look forward to welcoming our ECS Scholars to Baylor and supporting them in many ways as they strive to join the next great generation of engineers and computer scientists.”

For more information or to apply for this scholarship, visit


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 17,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.


Baylor’s School of Engineering and Computer Science (ECS) prepares its students to be innovators for worldwide impact by training graduates for professional practice and responsible leadership with a Christian view. Students can choose from majors including bioinformatics, computer science, electrical and computer engineering, general engineering and mechanical engineering. ECS also offers graduate programs in all areas of study within the School. We stand out from the crowd through Christian commitment, a strong community, expert accessibility, leading practical experience and teamwork. Visit to learn more and follow on Facebook at


For more than 100 years, Baylor educators have carried the mission and practices of the School of Education to classrooms and beyond as teachers, superintendents, psychologists, health education professionals, academics/scholars and more. With more than 50 full-time faculty members, the school’s growing research portfolio complements its long-standing commitment to excellence in teaching and student mentoring. Baylor’s undergraduate program in teacher education has earned national distinction for innovative partnerships with local schools that provide future teachers deep clinical preparation, while graduate programs culminating in both the Ed.D. and Ph.D. prepare outstanding leaders, teachers and clinicians through an intentional blend of theory and practice. Visit to learn more.