Implementation Project: The DREAM STEM Project: Enhancing Academics, Entrepreneurship, and STEM Career Pathways
Implementation Projects provide support to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to design, implement, study, and assess comprehensive institutional efforts to increase the number of students receiving undergraduate degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and enhance the quality of their preparation by strengthen education and research. The project at North Carolina Central University seeks to build on previous successful efforts to increase participation of African-American students in STEM disciplines. The goal of the project is to educate STEM students who are critical thinking problem solvers, knowledge creators, skilled innovators, and are entrepreneurial. The project will impact all STEM majors at the institution, but directly supports over 200 students annually as researchers, peer tutors, summer institute or conference participants.
The project has the objectives to: increase enrollment and retention in STEM degree programs; increase persistence and graduation rates in STEM degree programs; and produce highly-skilled STEM graduates who can create and innovate. Each objective is supported by a set of evidence-based strategies and activities, such as proactive advising and mentoring, active-learning and inquiry-based teaching strategies, identity as a scientist, and entrepreneurship in science education. The project expects to produce strong effects on students' motivation, self-efficacy, and commitment to STEM that will lead to higher academic and professional outcomes for the students. A research study will be conducted to investigate the effects of active-learning instructional approaches in STEM courses on student motivation for learning and their academic performance. The project will be advised and evaluated for effectiveness by internal and external advisory boards and by a team of evaluators.
This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.