Aerial view of the new science center.
Slated to open in the fall, construction of the new science center is nearly complete.
A crisis exists in preparing students for the competitive global marketplace when it comes to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)-related careers, according to national data published by National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Johnson C. Smith University is responding to these national and global needs with a progressive plan that will prepare students to compete for jobs and opportunities for post graduate education.
To step up to the STEM challenge, the University is expanding the entire STEM College program and modernizing campus facilities. Such improvements will be funded through the University’s Comprehensive Campaign: Tomorrow is What We Make It. The $150 million campaign will seek funds from public and private sources over the next few years to upgrade campus facilities and construct several new academic and student-centered buildings including a new Science Center.
“One of our key campaign objectives is to provide a vibrant campus experience to our more than 1,600 students and 7,000 alumni,” said Dr. Ronald L. Carter, president of Johnson C. Smith University. “The strategic application of these funds will move Johnson C. Smith to the forefront of the nation’s leading private urban institutions.”
The new Science Center is a concrete reflection of JCSU’s commitment to preparing students for STEM-related fields. JCSU has already earned national recognition from Diverse Issues in Higher Education magazine, which ranked the STEM College 18th in the nation in graduating African Americans in the field of computer and information sciences.
According to Dr. Magdy Attia, dean of the College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, “at JCSU we are building a unique model for colleges by expanding beyond the traditional STEM education model and incorporating a multidisciplinary, market-driven approach in our curricula. Our plan for a new Science Center reflects this vision and is a critical tool in our success with this initiative. Johnson C. Smith University must ensure that our graduates have more contemporary curriculum that develops the expertise they need.”
The new Science Center will house four of six newly created education centers including:
- The Center for Renewable Energy
- The Center for Medical Informatics
- The Center for Analytics
- The Center for Bioinformatics
The remaining two centers, The Center for Electronics and Cyber Security and The Center for Robotics, are located in the JCSU Technology Center.
In addition to a heightened vibrant campus experience for students, the broader Charlotte community will also gain a resource from the new Science Center by creating the JCSU STEM Innovation Center which will serve the community around JCSU by providing training, mentoring, innovation, think tanks and brainstorming sessions, and STEM summer camps for students, teachers and Charlotte area professionals.
The 62,000-square-foot facility has been designed with students in mind. The JCSU leadership worked for months with architects to create an optimal learning environment infused with natural light, opportunities for interaction among students, faculty and visitors and interdisciplinary campus collaboration. Designed with three public floors and a semi-private basement, the building will feature a common atrium space, classroom/administrative wings with teaching labs and faculty offices. A 250-seat tiered lecture hall and atrium will accommodate guest lecturers, conferences and other multi-purpose events for the campus and community.
The center will enable the STEM College to increase enrollment from 300 to 450 students by 2016.
If you are interested in learning how you can play a significant role in the future of Johnson C. Smith University, please contact Joy Paige Springs at firstname.lastname@example.org or 704.378.1024.