Carroll U Project to Support Students Majoring in STEM Fields
- By Joshua Bolkan
A project at Carroll University aims to improve retention for STEM students, thanks to a $1 million award from the National Science Foundation's Scholarships in Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics grant program.
The grant-winning project, "Carroll University Pro-STEM Initiative: Promoting STEM Retention through Self-Efficacy," is designed to provide academic and financial support for students majoring in STEM fields, especially if they are required to take calculus, in an effort to improve retention. Approximately 128 students majoring in mathematics, computer science, chemistry, biochemistry or applied physics will receive scholarships as a result of the award, accounting for about $660,000 in grant funds.
"Additionally, a research team will examine how integrating focused instruction in general education courses, supporting faculty and implementing peer-led study groups and community building activities can better promote persistence in STEM majors at Carroll and prepare students to meet the needs of today's workforce," according to a news release. "As part of the general education, students will come to understand the type of learner they are and how to persevere when courses challenge them, while faculty work to determine how their approach to teaching can best support the students."
Upon completion, faculty will share their results with other institutions to help improve completion rates at other small schools.
"This grant provides us with the opportunity to greatly impact the areas of STEM in both educational and professional ways," said Kathy Kramer, assistant professor of education, in a prepared statement. "We know that STEM programs present a rigorous curriculum for our students and we're enthusiastic to learn whether the various components of the effort are effective at improving retention in those programs."
The project will be led by Kramer as well as John Symms, associate professor of mathematics.
Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.