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NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars (NCAS) gives community college STEM students a NASA experience and encourages them to finish a 2-year degree or transfer to a 4-year university to pursue a NASA-related field or career.

During the program, students participate in NASA Community College Aerospace Scholar by completing STEM-based activities online to become eligible for the NASA on Campus NCAS Event.  


If you have questions about NCAS please email Janet McLarty-Schroeder


Public Releases: 

March 4, 2019

NASA Partners with Community Colleges to Bring NASA to Their Campuses

The National Space Grant Consortia and NASA’s Minority University Research and Education Project  (MUREP) identified six minority serving community colleges from four states to participate in a pilot activity, NASA On Campus, with NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement that will lead to engineering design and robotics competitions at each campus this fall -- and NASA internships.

NASA On Campus is a campus-based adaptation of the successful NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars (NCAS) program. NCAS gives community college students who are focusing on STEM fields an authentic NASA experience at one of the NASA centers. NCAS encourages them to finish a two-year degree or transfer to a four-year university to pursue a NASA-related field or career. NCAS began as small effort at Johnson Space Center in 2007 and has since become an agency-wide effort with all NASA centers hosting events throughout the year reaching upwards of 800 students annually. Nearly 200 internships have been awarded to NCAS alumni over the years with many going on to full-time careers in the aerospace industry.

For this pilot activity, students from each campus will participate in a five-week online learning experience this summer, administered by NASA and taught by faculty from their home campuses.  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.

“NASA looks forward to making the NCAS experience accessible to a wider range of students who may have had limited ability to travel to a NASA center for the week-long event,” said Alicia Baturoni-Cortez, NCAS Activity Manager. “This pilot activity will evaluate the potential for replicating the successful NCAS experience at community college campuses throughout the nation.”

The schools selected to participate in NASA on Campus are: 

·         Meridian Community College, Meridian, Mississippi

·         Essex County Community College, Newark, New Jersey

·         Hinds Community College, Utica, Mississippi

·         Cerritos College, Norwalk, California

·         Redlands Community College, El Reno, Oklahoma

·         College of the Desert, Palm Desert, California

Faculty members from the six institutions are now training both in-person and online to prepare their campus for a successful experience. The schools are encouraged to explore partnerships with local industry and academia engaged in NASA research and are excited for the opportunity to bring NASA to their campus.

"Meridian Community College is very pleased to be selected to participate in NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars ,” said Thomas Huebner, president of Meridian Community College,” Angie Carraway and Valerie Bishop will lead this effort for MCC and I have no doubt they will do an excellent job opening doors for community college students who want to explore opportunities and careers with NASA and other STEM-related professions. This program is a perfect fit for our commitment to academic excellence." 

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:

Carla Santiago
NASA Johnson Space Center
External Relations Office

Last Updated: March 4, 2019

Editor: Sandra May


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