Dallas STEM Gateways Collaborative
The University of Texas at Dallas, Collin County Community College, and Richland College of the Dallas County Community College District are establishing a joint effort, the Dallas STEM Gateways Collaborative, to increase significantly Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) student learning and the number of undergraduates receiving STEM degrees at the three institutions. Building on previous collaborative activities, taking advantage of the concentration of high tech businesses in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex area, and using documented best-practice methods, the program is making use of a combination of strengthened recruitment, student mentoring and professional development, internships, undergraduate research opportunities, faculty development, and curricular alignment and enhancement to produce over a five-year period a cultural change that will lead to sustained high productivity of undergraduate STEM degrees at these institutions. The Dallas STEM Gateways Collaborative program is enhancing the number, quality, and diversity of undergraduates successfully earning STEM degrees. The intellectual merit of the program lies in the comprehensive set of activities focusing on the gateway experiences during the first two years of undergraduate STEM programs. The activities are based on previous successful collaborations, documented best practices, a proven curricular alignment tool, and attention to all STEM fields, coupled with an extensive evaluation and assessment plan designed to give continuous feedback about the progress of the program. The broader impacts include creating a sustained cultural change in STEM education at the three institutions, making a significant impact on STEM students in the North Texas area and its scientifically trained workforce by means of a collaborative program that can serve as a national model of cooperation between a research university and community colleges.