Implementation Project: Fisk University STEM Transformation via Strategies for Accelerated Mathematics Confidence, Deeper Learning, and Course-embedded Authentic Research
The project at Fisk University, a Historically Black University, builds on lessons learned from a planning grant. The overall goal of the project is to enhance undergraduate student interest, retention, learning success, and pursuit of post-graduation training or careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) areas. Three main strategies were selected to overcome barriers to student success: innovation in developmental and early mathematics courses to achieve accelerated acquisition of STEM pre-requisite skills; introduction of Supplementary Instruction in all Gatekeeper STEM courses to achieve deeper learning and student retention; and introduction of course-embedded research in two required courses in each Natural Science discipline, and in one mathematics and computer science course, to enhance STEM interest, critical thinking and concept mastery.
The project will collect data concerning the suitability of evidence-based practices successful in research-based universities for implementation in small liberal arts colleges focused on increasing minority student access to STEM careers. Additionally, accelerated mathematics confidence and a deeper understanding of fundamental concepts for application in novel settings will facilitate academic success of students at Fisk University as STEM majors and in seeking STEM careers.
This project has the potential for becoming a model for STEM education at small liberal arts institutions. The project is likely to have an impact on STEM education, student learning, and faculty practice.