A STEP to grow in Science-Engineering_Mathematics Undergraduate degrees
The project is improving student retention in STEM disciplines by curricular reform and community and leadership building programs. The first of three major components focuses on developing, implementing, and institutionalizing project-based calculus instruction for students in engineering and in the sciences. Projects are being created in conjunction with engineers and scientists in the field, and are enhancing the students' ability to connect mathematics with other subjects. The second component is developing a peer leader program where the best students provide structured tutoring and serve as role models for other students. Finally, the third component of the project is enhancing undergraduate research by building on the community interactions and the projects developed in the first component. The project supports a comprehensive assessment effort, with an expert external evaluator, to determine whether these methods are effective as teaching tools and helpful in retention. The project team is disseminating their approach and data through regional and national meetings and through faculty development workshops. Broader impacts include increased ties to the community through community service projects, a focus on women and minority students, and dissemination of their model and materials.