The Collegiate School of Medicine & Bioscience hires a College Specialist to ensure students understand their career options and how to achieve them.

ST. LOUIS (October 20, 2015) – Monsanto Fund has provided nearly $90,000 through the St. Louis Public Schools Foundation, in support of increased college access for low-income, minority, and first-generation college aspirants attending the Collegiate School of Medicine & Bioscience (CSMB). With support from this contribution, CSMB recently hired its first College Specialist to support 170 high school students in identifying career interests, planning for post-secondary education to support their goals, and assisting in the college application and selection process. This contribution from the Monsanto Fund aligns with a District-wide strategic plan to ensure that by 2020, 90% of graduating SLPS students will be prepared for the college and/or career of their choice. “Our vision is for every high school to offer relevant postsecondary planning,” notes Dr. Kelvin Adams, Superintendent of Saint Louis Public Schools. “Monsanto Fund’s grant is a key part of that work.”

“CSMB students will benefit greatly from the generosity of the Monsanto Fund,” said Jane Donahue, President of the St. Louis Public Schools Foundation. “Research tells us that, nationwide, public school students are not receiving enough guidance during the college choice process.  We are grateful to the Monsanto Fund for ensuring that CSMB students have the support and information they need make meaningful college choices and enroll in top-level college programs in the fields of medicine and bioscience.”

Founded in 2013, CSMB is a magnet school within SLPS, with an emphasis on medicine, bioscience, and mathematics. The interdisciplinary curriculum provides students with hands-on experiential learning under the guidance of medical, health science and bio-technology professionals in the classroom, and with support from local partners including Saint Louis University School of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, Goldfarb School of Nursing, and the St. Louis College of Pharmacy.  With such a specific academic focus, students need targeted guidance as they plan for their careers.  CSMB hired Ms. Monica Nickolai as the CSMB College Specialist; Ms. Nickolai brings with her experience both in post-secondary education in the health sciences, and in supporting students with multiple barriers to college.

“Ms. Nickolai is committed to ensuring that our students have the tools to select the college that is right for them, academically, financially, and pre-professionally.” said Mr. Frederick Steele, Principal of CSMB. “Having a full-time college specialist on staff will provide students with targeted, ongoing support, and will also help get the word out to highly competitive colleges and universities that CSMB graduates are top candidates for their undergraduate programs.”

The CSMB College Specialist support will provide students with an understanding of the range of career options within bioscience and medicine, help them map out the steps needed to meet their goals, and walk with students through the application, selection, financial aid, and enrollment processes – all with the hope that students will be equipped with the tools they need to achieve their long term goals, and will ultimately return to St. Louis as professionals in the medical and bioscience fields.


About St. Louis Public Schools Foundation

Since 1998, the St. Louis Public Schools Foundation has existed to mobilize the community’s generosity and to support the amazing educators and students within the Saint Louis Public Schools. Over the years, we’ve provided schools with more than $13 million in resources. The St. Louis Public Schools Foundation is the District’s strategy partner with the unique mission of dedicating 100% of its funds and efforts to District strategy. The Foundation works closely with the Saint Louis Public Schools Superintendent, District leadership, and schools to ensure that the community’s resources support District priorities.

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About Monsanto Fund

The Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic arm of the Monsanto Company, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening the communities where farm families and Monsanto Company employees live and work. Visit the Monsanto Fund at

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