"I feel euphoric … its an extremely prestigious grant," said math professor Sidney Kolpas, who came up with the grant proposal and will work closely with the program.
The goal of the grant — which will be distributed over five years — is to create opportunities for new and current students with an interest in science, math and engineering, he said.
The program will award 70 students per year a scholarship of up to $1,500 depending on need.
It will also provide student mentors and host programs where they can learn alongside others interested in the field to allow recipients the opportunity to enhance their learning, Kolpas said.
"These are scholarships that come with a program wrapped around them," said Duncan McBride, program director for the scholarship.
"There are student support services to keep students in school and also to make sure they're doing well in college."
Along with the scholarship, the program will also pay application fees for students who want to transfer to four-year colleges, he said.
The program will be similar to a previous National Science Foundation math-and-science scholarship program the college had in conjunction with Cal State Northridge, which will be ending soon, Kolpas said.
The former program — the Alliance for Minority Participation — had many of the same aspects, but the scholarships were awarded to minority students, he said.
Elana Edelstein — assistant director of communications, marketing and foundation for the college — worked alongside Kolpas to bring the program.
She said she was excited about what it would do for the college.
"I'm thrilled that we did receive this grant because that will allow us long-term funding for the program," she said.
"It's a great opportunity to get more students into studying math and science."
In order to qualify for the scholarship, students must meet a financial-need requirement, plan to major in math, science or engineering, have and maintain a 2.5 grade-point average, and know intermediate algebra.
Students should be able to start applying for the scholarship around spring of 2007, and recipients will begin reaping benefits of the program with a summer session that year.