Bloomington, Ind. – With the guidance and support of Provost Robel, Indiana University will create a team of faculty who will work with faculty from nine other large, public institutions to more fully understand student success in foundational STEM courses.
This project, led by the University of Michigan, has been made possible through a million-dollar grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The project, Sloan Equity and Inclusion in STEM Introductory Courses (SEISMIC), will take place over the next three years in a variety of different ways.
Each partner institution will conduct research, participate in parallel analyses, and share results on how to best support students typically underrepresented in these disciplines. Research across these institutions has shown that students who struggle to achieve good grades in introductory STEM courses drop out of those majors, especially students who do not see themselves represented in those fields.
"A key goal of this project is to set a new national standard for assessing the quality of foundational STEM courses. A course cannot be excellent unless it is equitable and inclusive," SEISMIC Project Manager Nita Kedharnath said.
Faculty researchers from partner institutions will meet annually to discuss findings, share ideas, and refine research questions for the upcoming year. This year, the annual meeting will take place June 11-14 at the University of Michigan. In addition to attending the annual meeting, IU will host approximately six guest speakers from partner institutions throughout the 2019–2020 school year, connecting faculty at IU Bloomington with researchers from across the country. Similarly, over the period of the grant IU faculty and staff will be speakers at the other partner campuses.
IU’s principal investigator and Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education Dennis Groth is pleased to participate in this collaboration.
"We are excited to engage SEISMIC partners across the country that share our deep interest in improving student outcomes in STEM courses. The SEISMIC project dovetails with our existing improvement efforts for student success, coupled with our learning analytics strategy led through our Center for Learning Analytics and Student Success (CLASS) and our office Bloomington Assessment and Research (BAR)," he said.
Through participation in this work, IU Bloomington will work toward achieving the outcomes represented in its five-year strategic plan, including developing best practices for STEM teaching and learning, and improving equity, inclusion, and greater student success in STEM.
Led by the University of Michigan, SEISMIC participating institutions include Michigan State University, Indiana University, Purdue University, University of Minnesota, Arizona State University, University of Pittsburgh, University of California Santa Barbara, University of California Irvine, and University of California Davis. To learn more about this collaboration, visit the project website.