Implementation Project: Achieving Greater Confidence and Competence in Quantitative and Computational Skills in STEM Disciplines at Fisk University
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 Fisk 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 increase the quantitative and computational confidence and competence of undergraduates, with a particular emphasis on biologically relevant sciences in all STEM disciplines, to meet the evolving needs of those disciplines so as to attract, prepare and sustain under-represented undergraduate STEM majors for post-graduate training and careers.
The project has the objectives to: increase faculty confidence and competence in quantitative and computational approaches in the natural sciences and, reciprocally, increase awareness of contemporary problems in the biologically relevant life sciences for faculty in mathematics and computer science; develop and study the transdisciplinary Community of Practice model, which is modified to include a reciprocal, semi-structured instructional component; increase student confidence and competence in quantitative and computational approaches by early introduction of these tools into the required curriculum; and sustain and enhance deeper learning in gatekeeper courses using Supplemental Instruction. Each objective is supported by a set of evidence-based strategies and activities, some of which will be studied for effectiveness in the setting of this university. The project will be advised and evaluated for effectiveness by internal and external advisory boards and by an evaluator.
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.