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Systemic Transformation of Education Through Evidence-based Reform (STEER): Results and Lessons Learned

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Conference

2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Topics

Diversity and NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count

22

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/37797

Download Count

24

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Paper Authors

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Robert L. Potter University of South Florida

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Robert Potter is Senior Associate Dean for Academics and Professor of Chemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of South Florida (USF). He has been actively involved in promoting more effective STEM instruction K-16 for over 20 years. As such he led or co-led multiple collaborative National Science Foundation and Department of Education funded projects to improve student outcomes in STEM. The most recent being the NSF funded “STEER” project (Systemic Transformation of Education Through Evidence-based Reforms) DUE 1525574 , a partnership between USF and Hillsborough Community College aimed at changing the culture of STEM teaching in a research intensive institution to achieve improved student success.

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Gerry G. Meisels University of South Florida

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Dr. Gerry Meisels is a native of Vienna, Austria. He received his Ph.D. at the University of Notre Dame and worked for Gulf Oil and Union Carbide before joining the faculty at the University of Houston in 1965. He became department chair in 1972, and moved to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1975, where he became Dean of Arts and Sciences in 1983. He joined the University of South Florida as Provost in 1988, a position he held until 1995 when he established the Coalition for Science Literacy. He continues to serve as its Director. He has worked on strengthening Science education in both the K-12 and post-secondary environments, and has led the development of the project “Systemic Transformation of Education Through Evidence-based Reforms”, which he submitted to NSF; it was approved by NSF in 2015 (NSF-DUE 1525574). He now serves as PI of this 5-year, $3,000,000 IUSE project that seeks to get faculty in a research intensive university to adopt evidence-based teaching practices, and to change the system to one that values and rewards both teaching and research, with an end result of increasing graduation rates and numbers in the STEM disciplines

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Peter Stiling University of South Florida

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Dr. Stiling is currently a professor in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of South Florida

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Kevin Yee University of South Florida

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Dr. Yee is the director of the teaching center at USF.

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Ruthmae Sears University of South Florida

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Ruthmae Sears, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor at the University of South Florida. Her research focuses on curriculum issues, the development of reasoning and proof skills, clinical experiences in secondary mathematics, and the integration of technology in the teaching and learning of mathematics.

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Catherine A. Beneteau University of South Florida

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Catherine Bénéteau is a Professor of Mathematics at the University of South Florida. Her research areas are in complex function theory and mathematics education. In mathematics, she has studied polynomial approximation, extremal problems in analytic function spaces and related applications. In mathematics education, she has done a lot of work supported by the National Science Foundation to integrate inquiry-based methods and applications of mathematics into the undergraduate curriculum. She has also been active in faculty development across the United States, in particular in connection with the use of Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL). She was the recipient of the University Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award at USF in 2009. She has been a Project NExT (New Experiences in Teaching) fellow since 1999, and is a member of the Center for the Improvement of Teaching and Research at USF.

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Kelley G. Schuler University of South Florida

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Kelley Schuler is Project Coordinator for Systemic Transformation of Education Through Evidence-Based Reforms (STEER) – NSF DUE #1525574 and Assistant Director for the Coalition for Science Literacy at the
University of South Florida. Kelley provides day-to-day oversight and support of STEER grant program activities, communications, documentation, and financial processes.

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Alberto Danny Camacho Hillsborough Community College

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Mr. Danny Camacho serves as Academic Assistant Dean for the Math & Sciences Division in the Associate of Arts Program at the Dale Mabry Campus. In this capacity he is vital to the smooth running of this large academic division. He is Co-PI of the Systematic Transformation of Education using Evidence-based Reforms (or STEER) - a multi-year partnership with the University of South Florida funded by the National Science Foundation. He also oversees the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Tampa Bay Bridge to Baccalaureate Grant. This multi-year grant encourages minority high school students into STEM careers. This alliance partners Hillsborough Community College (Hillsborough) with State College of Florida (Manatee/Sarasota), and St. Pete College (Pinellas) to combine its efforts at reaching program goals in the entire Tampa Bay region.

Mr. Camacho has more than 20 years of experience in education, serving in a variety of roles. Prior to coming to Hillsborough Community College, he was an Assistant Principal for a charter high school that focused on Drop-Out Prevention, an English teacher working with incarcerated males for the Youth Services Division of the School District of Hillsborough County, as well as a music teacher for several years early in his career.

Mr. Camacho is also a proud veteran of the United States Air Force. After serving, he attended the University of South Florida where he graduated Magna Cum Laude, with dual Bachelor's Degrees in Education and Fine Art. He subsequently returned to the University of South Florida to earn a Master's Degree in Educational Leadership.

Mr. Camacho is proud to be a long-time Tampa resident, where he is active in many Hispanic community organizations. He has received accolades as a member of the Krewe of the Knights of Sant’ Yago Education Foundation, the Hillsborough Community College Education Foundation, and previously as a Guardian Ad Litem in Tampa.

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Scott W. Campbell University of South Florida

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Dr. Scott Campbell has been on the faculty of the Department of Chemical & Biomedical Engineering at the University of South Florida since 1986. He currently serves as the department undergraduate advisor. Scott was a co-PI on an NSF STEP grant for the reform of the Engineering Calculus sequence at USF. This grant required him to build relationships with engineering faculty of other departments and also faculty from the College of Arts and Sciences. Over the course of this grant, he advised over 500 individual calculus students on their course projects. He was given an Outstanding Advising Award by USF and has been the recipient of numerous teaching awards at the department, college, university (Jerome Krivanek Distinguished Teaching Award) and state (TIP award) levels. Scott also was a co-PI for a Helios-funded Middle School Residency Program for Science and Math (for which he taught the capstone course) and is on the leadership committee for an NSF IUSE grant to transform STEM Education at USF. His research is in the areas of solution thermodynamics and environmental monitoring and modeling.

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Abstract

We report here on the implementation over five years of a comprehensive project to improve STEM education in a large, public university. The STEER project, funded by NSF-IUSE, seeks to achieve this improvement by (1) advocating and incentivizing the adoption of Evidenced Based Teaching (EBT) methods in STEM courses and (2) facilitating change to a culture in which student-centered learning is valued within research-driven STEM departments. A number of synergistic thrusts have been implemented to support these efforts and include:

(1) Facilitating and Incentivizing Adoption of EBT Methods: Faculty can apply for development grants to incorporate EBT methods into their course. They can apply for travel grants to learn more about adopting EBT within their discipline. A peer observation program places STEM faculty from different disciplines into small groups where each member observes a class taught by the others and also a class taught by a separate faculty member versed in one or more EBT approaches. Teaching assistants for STEM laboratory courses are provided training in EBT methods. A new program developed during COVID solicited STEM faculty to produce videos in which they illustrate one or more methods useful in online teaching.

(2) Retreats: STEER facilitates departmental retreats in which faculty are guided to fine- tune their curricula and align departmental courses. These retreats include an introduction to EBT methods. STEER also hosts interdisciplinary retreats, in which STEM faculty from various disciplines are grouped and encouraged to explore ways in which their courses can build upon each other.

(3) Support for Transfer Students: Faculty from our campus and from our main feeder institution meet to align common courses at the two institutions. Students who have previously transferred from the feeder institution are hired as “STEER Peers”. They advise students who are in the process of transferring, participate in transfer student orientation, and design and deliver workshops on study skills and professional/career development.

(4) Creating Momentum for Change: A seminar series attended by faculty, administrators, graduate assistants and advisors brings in nationally known presenters who speak on a variety of topics such as EBT methods, institutional change, and student retention (both overall and for under-represented groups). STEER members facilitate STEM Teaching Workshops sponsored by the university provost. Each year, STEM Scholar Awards are made to several faculty who have successfully applied EBT to their courses.

We described many of these thrusts at the 2019 ASEE conference. In this paper, we will focus more on describing the thrusts that have been implemented, or have evolved, since then. Also, as this grant is in its no-cost extension year, we will present results and lessons learned. Specifically, we will address the number of faculty, graduate assistants and undergraduate students directly impacted by each thrust and will quantify, to the extent possible, the effect of that impact. Institutional data related to retention and graduation rates for STEM disciplines over the course of the project will also be presented. Finally, we will discuss lessons learned, with an eye towards helping institutions who are in the early stages of a project like ours.

Potter, R. L., & Meisels, G. G., & Stiling, P., & Yee, K., & Sears, R., & Beneteau, C. A., & Schuler, K. G., & Camacho, A. D., & Campbell, S. W. (2021, July), Systemic Transformation of Education Through Evidence-based Reform (STEER): Results and Lessons Learned Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37797

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