Lt. Governor Jon Husted and Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) Chancellor Randy Gardner announced new Choose Ohio First (COF) scholarship awards for computer science.

Bowling Green State University is one of 35 colleges and universities across the state to receive a grant. The new scholarship is designed to strengthen Ohio’s workforce in fields such as coding and cybersecurity, while supporting an estimated 1,400 Ohio students. A total of $20,580,770 will be awarded through the program over the next five years.

“Our computer science program was the first of its kind in Ohio more than 50 years ago. Today, BGSU is pleased to receive the Choose Ohio First Grant to support future generations of students in this field,” said BGSU President Rodney K. Rogers. “This grant of more than $1.1 million supports our mission to create public good by providing scholarships to students who will not just fill a critical workforce need, but who will use computer science to shape our communities and the way we live.”

The Choose Ohio First scholarship program began in 2008 as a way to increase the number of Ohio students enrolling in and successfully completing science, technology, engineering, math, and medicine (STEMM) programs at Ohio’s public and independent colleges and universities. Husted, in his then-role as Speaker of the House, led the efforts to create the COF program in 2008. These awards continue his goal of increasing STEMM enrollment and completion statewide.

“The Choose Ohio First program is one of our state’s best tools to increase the number of students preparing to work in STEM-related fields,” Husted said. “In today’s technology-infused economy, every industry and business has important tech-focused jobs and training Ohioans for careers in those positions is key to growing our economy.”

The latest COF awards are part of a focused strategy to increase enrollment and completion in computer science and related areas. ODHE is also promoting the use of the COF funds to assist students to obtain credentials and certificates in computer science areas, allowing them to add more demonstrated skills to their portfolio.

“The ongoing investment in the Choose Ohio First program demonstrates the commitment of Gov. DeWine, Lt. Gov. Husted and the General Assembly to build a talent pipeline in Ohio to the leading technology occupations,” Gardner said. “This new focused scholarship will further strengthen the Choose Ohio First program and put more students on a path to success.”

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