The five awardees, each hailing from Florida, are: Susan Carchi of Sanford and Marisha Baker of Daytona Beach, both Associate Degree Nursing students; Bachelor’s Degree Nursing student Brittany Canidate of Daytona Beach; and AS in Respiratory Care alumni Ashley Kitchen of DeBary and Alexa Ciepierski of Melbourne. Each was awarded scholarships ranging from $3,500 to $10,000 to continue their education, pay existing student loan debt or support their program.
“The Daytona State community is so proud of these exceptional scholars and the honor they have brought to themselves and the institution,” said DSC President Tom LoBasso. “The quality of our nursing and respiratory care programs is largely dependent on the robust partnerships we have built with our regional hospitals, clinics and public agencies. We consider the Aspen Institute a remarkable partner as well, because its work helps make college affordable for selected DSC students.”
The students and alumni were among 51 exceptional scholars representing 18 schools offering some of the nation’s strongest two-year college programs in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Such programs provide outstanding preparation for high-demand careers in advanced manufacturing, energy, healthcare and information technology, to name just a few.
Overall, jobs in STEM fields are projected to grow at almost double the rate of non-STEM occupations, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Regionally, Daytona State has a vital role in helping to meet this demand. More than half of all STEM jobs across the United States require no more than an associate degree. Locally, AS degree graduates earn on average as much as $45,000 annually.
Daytona State offers nearly 40 two-year associate degrees in a variety of career fields, many with placement rates above 90 percent, according to the most recent Florida Department of Education data.
Many DSC AS degree programs also will transfer to four-year universities. Or, students can continue their studies in one of DSC’s 11 bachelor’s degree programs in nursing, education, business, engineering and information technology.