Lone Star College-Tomball received two grants from the U.S. Department of Education totaling $4.3 million, according to news releases from the college. The college received a $2.8 million Hispanic-Serving Institutions Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics and Articulation Program grant Sept. 30 and a $1.5 million Strengthening Institutions Program grant Oct. 5.

The HSI STEM grant is awarded to colleges with at least 25% Hispanic enrollment to help increase the number of Hispanic students obtaining STEM degrees. Hispanic students make up 38% of the total student population at LSC-Tomball, according to the release.

“More and more jobs require individuals with STEM degrees and STEM-related skills,” LSCS Chancellor Stephen Head said in the release. “This funding will help expand the number of Hispanic students graduating with STEM degrees and help them be ready to join the workforce.”

LSC-Tomball plans to use the money to develop the Science Success First Center, which will help streamline requirements for STEM degrees and provide professional development for faculty and staff, according to the release.

“This grant will allow students to see the great opportunities STEM careers can provide and ensure student learning objectives are aligned with the skills or knowledge required for employment in in-demand industry sectors,” LSC-Tomball President Lee Ann Nutt said in the release.

In addition, the SIP grant will help the college increase enrollment and graduation rates, according to a separate news release. LSC-Tomball will use the grant to offer students more academic, career and financial counseling through the Tomball Experience project.

“The funds from this grant will be used to strengthen equitable access for our most vulnerable students,” Nutt said in the release. “The newly created LSC-Tomball Career and Transfer Center will address the specific needs for this group of students who have the potential to succeed in higher education.”

Both grants are five-year grants 100% funded by the U.S. Department of Education, according to the releases.