Kennesaw State Receives Grant To Improve Computing Readiness And Diversity

KENNESAW, Ga. | Oct 3, 2018

Program designed to recruit next generation of computing, STEM students

Kennesaw State University’s College of Computing and Software Engineering has been awarded a $50,000 grant in an ongoing effort to prepare middle school students interested in computing and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.

The grant, part of State Farm’s Systems Priority School 2018 cohort, will support the College’s Readiness, Awareness and Diversity in Computing program, introduces students to the applicability of computing and the career options it can provide. As part of the program, students will have opportunities to participate in games-for-learning, hackathons and game jams at area schools, libraries and community centers.

“As a College, we are on a mission to set and maintain high standards for student success, and we are extremely grateful for State Farm’s continued support in reaching that goal,” said Jon Preston, dean of the College of Computing and Software Engineering. “Our program is an excellent example of how KSU provides experiential learning, community service and career advancement opportunities beyond the classroom. It is truly a win-win-win for students, the community and our industry partners.”

State Farm Grant

The program will enlist Kennesaw State undergraduates as mentors and supply reusable learning kits to partner teachers within school districts across metro Atlanta. Additionally, KSU will host a series of on-campus events to showcase the learning of the more than 400 students expected to participate this year. Though the program will be available to all middle school students, an emphasis will be placed on recruiting female and underrepresented students.

This year’s award is a continuation of a $36,000 State Farm grant provided to KSU in 2017, part of which funded 300 reusable learning kits designed to empower teachers to discuss algorithmic thinking and computing concepts. The grant covered salaries for 12 KSU student mentors and two faculty personnel in the program’s first year and included a one-week computing camp for area STEM teachers. A similar camp is scheduled for this year.

“State Farm is proud to support Kennesaw State University in their efforts to foster STEM education for the youth in our local communities,” said Wade Smith, State Farm Technology Manager. “Their program aligns with our own goals of increasing interest in technology education and careers through hands-on experience and industry mentorship.”

– Travis Highfield

Photos by David Caselli

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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 43,000 students. Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia with 11 academic colleges. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 7 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit