STEP Grant

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A STEP to Grow in Science-Engineering-Mathematics Undergraduate Degrees

Mission and Objectives

The intent of this NSF funded project is to improve student retention in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) disciplines by curricular reform and community and leadership building programs.

The project has three major components:

  1. focus on developing, implementing, and institutionalizing project-based calculus instruction for students in engineering and the sciences. Projects are created in conjunction with engineers and scientists in the field, and are designed to enhance the students' ability to connect mathematics with other subjects.
  2. development of a peer leader program where the selected students provide structured tutoring and serve as role models for other students.
  3. enhance undergraduate research by building on the community interactions and the projects developed in the first component.

Evaluation and Dissemination

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 the dissemination of their model and materials.