STEM Central

A Community of Practice for NSF STEM Projects

Announcing Knowledge Exchange for Undergraduate STEM Education Reform

November 02, 2017


NSF-funded initiative takes new approach to retaining talented, low-income students in STEM

Washington, DC – Through generous support from the National Science Foundation, AAC&U has received $4.8 million to implement a five-year long professional development experience for disciplinary STEM faculty and STEM education researchers to develop and more precisely pinpoint metrics for accurately and easily documenting quality undergraduate STEM teaching that broadens the participation of talented, low-income students.

Despite quality teaching being identified as one of the strongest and most consistent predictors of student interest and retention in STEM, modern STEM teaching strategies continue to vary significantly. Moreover, current professional development efforts aimed at providing STEM faculty with the capacity to integrate STEM education research and evaluation methods into their successful teaching strategies are oftentimes devoid of the theoretical, iterative, and long-term approaches needed to yield dramatic and sustained changes.

This initiative will substantially accelerate STEM higher education reform through a uniquely-designed professional development model that represents an interwoven cycle of highly integrated face-to-face and virtual interactions. Knowledge Studios, Regional Clinics, and a robust Online Web Platform will lead to the development of a national community of scholars and practitioners focused on establishing and maintaining a shared interest in, knowledge of, appreciation for, and proficiency in broadening the participation of talented, low-income STEM students.

“This work represents a unique opportunity for aligning education research and evaluation with proven undergraduate STEM teaching practices that contribute to diversifying the STEM disciplines.”

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