March 8, 2019

Hinds CC Utica Campus partnering with NASA to bring aerospace to campus

Students to take part in competitions and compete for NASA internship
By: Danny Barrett Jr.

UTICA – Hinds Community College Utica Campus has been chosen to participate in a program with NASA that will add aerospace technology as a possible career choice for STEM students.

Students will participate in a five-week online learning experience this summer, administered by NASA and taught from faculty from campus. Students who successfully complete the online course will participate in an engineering design and robotics competition designed by NASA at their campus this fall. After successfully completing the program, one student from each campus will be awarded a NASA summer internship.

The campus joins five other minority serving community colleges in three states chosen to be part of the pilot activity by the National Space Grant Consortia and NASA’s Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP). The effort, called NASA On Campus, is a campus-based adaptation of the successful NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars (NCAS) program, which gives STEM students in two-year colleges an authentic NASA experience at a NASA center.

“I am elated to have the NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars program on the Utica Campus,” said Dr. Tyrone Jackson, vice president of the Utica Campus. “Faculty members Dr. Noel Gardner, chemistry instructor, and Stephanie Burks, biology instructor, successfully completed the instructional assistant training this past fall. For five weeks, they immersed themselves in learning and implementing NASA’s teaching and learning strategies with a group of 10 students. Nationwide, assistants instructed 611 students in community colleges in 37 states, with a 69 percent pass rate. Thus far, we’re pleased with the success of the program.”

Schools also selected to participate in NASA on Campus are:

  • Meridian Community College, Meridian, Miss.
  • Essex County Community College, Newark, N.J.
  • Cerritos College, Norwalk, Calif.
  • Redlands Community College, El Reno, Okla.
  • College of the Desert, Palm Desert, Calif.

Since the start of the NCAS program in 2007, nearly 200 internships have been awarded, with many going on to full-time careers in aerospace. NCAS encourages them to finish a two-year degree or transfer to a four-year university to pursue a NASA-related field or career.

Through MUREP’s competitive awards, NASA provides financial assistance to minority serving institutions. These institutions recruit and retain underrepresented and underserved students, including women, girls, veterans and persons with disabilities, into STEM fields. To learn more about the Office of STEM Engagement, visit:

CATEGORIES: Utica Campus