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Improving Undergraduate STEM Education One STEP at a Time. Susan Rundell Singer Division Director Undergraduate Education National Science Foundation. Science( 2013) 339:1359). STEPing into the IUSE future: New name, but STEP goals remain.

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Improving undergraduate stem education one step at a time

Improving Undergraduate STEM Education One STEP at a Time

Susan Rundell Singer

Division Director

Undergraduate Education

National Science Foundation

Improving undergraduate stem education one step at a time

Science( 2013) 339:1359)

Steping into the iuse future new name but step goals remain
STEPing into the IUSE future: New name, but STEP goals remain

  • Increase the number of students receiving associate or baccalaureate degrees in STEM fields

  • Activities aimed at adapting and implementing best practices that will lead to an increase in the number of students

  • Make a significant impact on the culture at an institution(s) with the expectation that major portions of the impact will be sustained after the completion of the project

Step goals align with key recommendations
STEP goals align with key recommendations

  • Engage to Excel: Producing one-million additional college graduates with degrees in science technology, engineering, and mathematics (PCAST)

  • Discipline-Based Education Research: Understanding and Improving Learning in Undergraduate Science and Engineering(NRC)

    • Practitioner volume in the works

Federal level responses
Federal-level responses

  • FY 2013 Cross-agency Priority Goal

    • In support of the President’s goal that the U.S. have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020, the Federal Government will work with education partners to improve the quality of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education at all levels to help increase the number of well-prepared graduates with STEM degrees by one-third over the next 10 years, resulting in an additional 1 million graduates with degrees in STEM.

Graduate 10k
Graduate 10K+

  • NSF Joins Forces with Intel and GE to Move the Needle in Producing U.S. Engineers and Computer Scientists

  • Under "Graduate 10K+", $10 million is awarded to nine institutions whose projects aim to increase retention of undergraduates in engineering and computer science

Improving undergraduate stem education one step at a time
ENG^2: Engineering Engagement for Student SuccessLouisiana State University & Agricultural and Mechanical College

Federal level responses1
Federal-level responses

  • Federal Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education 5- year Strategic Plan (CoSTEM report)

    • Undergraduate Goal 1: Identify and broaden implementation of evidence-based instructional practices and innovations to improve undergraduate learning and retention in STEM and develop national architecture to improve empirical understanding of how these changes relate to key student outcomes.

Evidence based and evidence generating strategies in step
Evidence-based and evidence-generating strategies in STEP

  • Faulty development on pedagogical strategies

  • Preparatory mathematics courses as pre-requisites for calculus and introductory STEM courses to lessen delay in curriculum advancement

  • Summer Bridge programs

  • Residential STEM learning communities

  • Peer mentoring

Steping up the evidence base
STEPing up the evidence base

  • Pathways to STEM Bachelor’s and Graduate Degrees for Hispanic Students and the Role of Hispanic-Serving Institutions, PI: Alicia Dowd, University of Southern California

  • Becoming Scientists: Practices in Undergraduate Education that Contribute to Degree Completion and Advanced Study in STEM Disciplines, PI: Sylvia Hurtado, University of California, Los Angeles

  • The Price of STEM Success: Explaining the Impact of Need-Based Financial Aid on STEM Student Behavior, PI: Sara Goldrick-Rab, University of Wisconsin

Http ies ed gov pdf commonguidelines pdf

Resource for STEP PIs

Nsf investment strategies


NSF Investment Strategies







DUE is a division of learning engineers

Nsf iuse program improving undergraduate stem education
NSF IUSE Program(Improving Undergraduate STEM Education)

  • IUSE supports the improvement of the undergraduate STEM education enterprise through funding research on design, development, and wide-spread implementation of effective STEM learning and teaching knowledge and practice, as well as foundational research on student learning.

  • Proposals should describe projects that build on available evidence and theory, and that will generate evidence and build knowledge.

Nsf iuse ideas labs
NSF IUSE Ideas Labs

Geosciences – Building capacity in MSIs and community colleges

Engineering – Addressing social inequality in engineering education and practice

Biology – Integrating mathematics and computing

Opportunities ahead
Opportunities ahead

Preparing a globally competitive workforce, including:

  • Future teachers and

  • A scientifically literate populace

    depends on our collective success in furthering a

  • Robust research and

  • Implementation infrastructure