Life. Changing. Times

Life.Changing.Times GO TEC


OTTUMWA -- Growing Opportunities in Technology and Engineering Careers (GO TEC) is a grant-funded scholarship program at Indian Hills Community College supported by the National Science Foundation. As the name implies, the program seeks to help qualified students in 12 specific STEM associate degree programs obtain their education and career goals.

A Little About the Program

Since its launch in August 2015, GO TEC has supported 58 academically talented students. These students, depending on their demonstration of financial need, had the potential of receiving up to $10,000 annually to support their education. In short, if these students were paying in-state tuition rates, GO TEC could more than cover their tuition for a two-year period and allow them to start careers or transfer to a four-year college debt free.

To apply to be a GO TEC scholar, students have to meet the following criteria:

  • Be a United States citizen, permanent resident, national or refugee;
  • Enroll in one of the 12 supported technology and engineering associate degree programs;
  • Have a minimum GPA of a 3.0;
  • Demonstrate financial need; and
  • Be enrolled full-time.

Beyond scholarship funding, GO TEC scholars receive a comprehensive range of supports to help ensure academic and career success. One such support is a faculty mentor to assist them throughout their educational journey. Usually, the mentor is the lead instructor from a scholar’s designated program. This mentor/mentee relationship is encouraged so students learn to communicate with their instructors and build networking relationships. In Career and Technical Education programs, this is key because instructors serve as the main leads into potential job opportunities post-graduation.

In addition to obtaining a mentor, students are required to participate in a STEM course and activity series with their fellow GO TEC scholars. This includes taking a one-credit course during the fall and spring terms and taking part in a summer field trip. The field trip counts as a three-credit course which fulfills many of the students’ cultural elective credit for their academic program.

GO TEC Impact Summary:

Number of unique scholarship recipients

48 students

Average scholarship amount awarded

$6,743 per student

Number and percentage of recipients or
graduated IHCC with an associate’s degree in STEM

42 out of 48 students – 91.7%
(20 retained, 22 graduates)

Number and percentage of (non-current) recipients
who transferred from IHCC to a four-year college

9 out of 28 students – 32.1%

The table includes data collected from fall 2015 – winter 2018.

Of the 22 GO TEC scholars who graduated from IHCC, 19 obtained STEM-related employment or transferred to a four-year institution within one year of leaving IHCC (86.4%). Graduates are now working for Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Ascend Pella Technologies, Principal Financial Group, Berkeley Technology Services, Cargill and numerous others. Those pursuing further education have studied subjects like cybersecurity and software development and one has earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science.


The grant that supports the GO TEC program is wrapping up in summer 2020, however, IHCC is planning to reapply for the NSF S-STEM grant again this year. If selected for the award, IHCC will reinstitute the GO TEC program and assist more students likely starting in fall 2022!

Blog written by: Kimberly Dreaden