Q-STEP: Community of Quantitative Scientists
Individuals who have an interdisciplinary outlook and a strong quantitative background will be in high demand to meet the future scientific and technological workforce needs. The purpose of this project is to increase the number of successful graduates in the sciences and mathematics and to enhance their level of quantitative skills through a program called Q-STEP. A fundamental activity of the Q-STEP program is the creation of a community of scholars in the quantitative sciences. This community of scholars provides a supportive social network, increased chances for group study and problem-solving, peer tutoring, and opportunities for early and consistent involvement in undergraduate research. As part o this project, faculty are redesigning the undergraduate mathematics and science courses so that they incorporate best practices for effective instruction including experiential learning, group exercises, and a consistent clear demonstration of the relevance of the various disciplines to each other and to the real world. The impact of the project is being rigorously assessed for student learning, motivation, and retention. Project dissemination is occurring widely through the web and through various national and regional venues.