June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
Educational Research and Methods
24.328.1 - 24.328.15
Creating a STEM Identity: Investment with ReturnEstablishing a strong STEM identity on this metropolitan campus has been an important steptoward creating a climate conducive to facilitating fundamental change. Examples of suchchange include building collaborations among faculty within and across departments,establishing the identity of students as part of a community beyond their chosen major,improving the efficiency and effectiveness of university systems, and perhaps most importantlyin higher education, developing a framework to think very purposefully about ways to effectchange. The College of Engineering on this metropolitan campus began focusing heavily onstudent success initiatives in 2004 with support from the Engineering Schools of the WestInitiative, through The Hewlett Foundation. This first wave of initiatives was critically assessed,and engineering student success became a focal point for the College of Engineering. Internalresearch conducted under this grant exposed numerous roadblocks that impeded students'academic success, particularly in the mathematics sequence. In 2010, another large grant, fundedthrough the National Science Foundation Science Talent Expansion Program, was awarded tohelp focus on increasing the numbers of students graduating with STEM degrees. This grantengaged an interdisciplinary, cross-college team of educators passionate about continuousimprovement and pedagogical reform. All activities associated with this grant were deliberatelycategorized as “STEM” activities, in order to further unify the STEM community and its sense ofcommon purpose. Within approximately one year of the STEP grant's launch, a second grant wasawarded, a NSF Innovation through Institutional Integration grant. This paper discusses andpresents supporting data to show how creating a STEM identity has been a critical step towardscross-curricular integration and improvements in pedagogical training. Structures and policieshave changed on campus. Across campus, educational research and curriculum collaboration isexpanding. Information distribution to STEM majors has changed, and a sense of STEMcommunity and culture has emerged.
Callahan, J., & Pyke, P., & Shadle, S., & Landrum, R. E. (2014, June), Creating a STEM Identity: Investment with Return Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. https://peer.asee.org/20219
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