CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University has been awarded a five-year, $1 million grant to improve instruction of science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, and better meet needs of undergraduate students from diverse backgrounds.
The grant is from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Inclusive Excellence Initiative. The goal of the initiative is to improve student engagement in science and help schools become more inclusive of those from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, first-generation students and working adults with families.
Oregon State is the only Oregon university among the 33 colleges and university selected for grants this year.
At OSU, the grant will be used for “Inclusive Excellence@Oregon State,” a project to establish a sustainable model for faculty development that will strengthen teaching for instructors of STEM classes at OSU and at nearby community colleges that serve students who transfer to OSU. The project is a collaboration of OSU’s Center for Research on Lifelong STEM Learning, College of Science and Division of Undergraduate Education.
“Faculty teaching foundational STEM courses at OSU and nearby community colleges play a critical role in shaping these students’ early college experiences and success,” said Martin Storksdieck, director of the Center for Research on Lifelong STEM Learning, and the project’s lead. “Embedding issues of diversity and inclusion into everyday learning experiences in STEM will expand current efforts to make OSU a welcoming and nurturing learning environment.”
Through the project, five groups of 20 faculty from OSU and nearby community colleges, include Lane and Linn-Benton, will form a professional learning community to develop and apply new culturally responsive strategies in the courses they teach.
The selected faculty will participate in an initial 40-hour summer academy on inclusive STEM pedagogies and individual course redesign; implement those strategies in their courses; support each other through peer observation and review; reconvene to share outcomes with their cohort and across the broader faculty community; and participate in sharing of results at the start of the next summer academy. Program leaders will monitor changes in teaching practices and document student success.
About Oregon State University: As one of only three land, sea, space and sun grant universities in the nation, Oregon State serves Oregon and the world by working on today’s most pressing issues. Our more than 35,000 students come from across the globe, and our programs operate in every Oregon county. Oregon State receives more research funding than all of the state’s comprehensive public universities combined. At our campuses in Corvallis and Bend, marine research center in Newport, OSU Portland Center and award-winning Ecampus, we excel at shaping today’s students into tomorrow’s leaders.