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Funding, Grants & Awards

Universities Share $3.2 Million To Improve STEM Teaching Skills

A consortium of 22 colleges and universities will share a $3.2-million grant over the next two years to improve their instruction in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects.

The Great Lakes Education Guaranty Corp. has given the grant to the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (CIRTL), a National Science Foundation program whose goal is to improve STEM learning in higher education and ultimately increase the number and diversity of college students interested in STEM subjects.

CIRTL was founded in 2006 with an original group of six universities involved in teaching and mentoring graduate students to improve their own teaching skills. In 2012, that founding group was expanded to 22 colleges and universities, representing a diverse group of both public and private, large and small institutions.

As an example of the kinds of projects individual institutions will be involved in, the Cornell University CIRTL will receive $130,000 to create a formal graduate and postdoctoral certificate program. Participants will work on their teaching and mentoring skills and will be able to apply for smaller-sized grants to develop learning community activities to further develop those skills.

"We will create opportunities for STEM graduate students and postdoctoral scholars to earn certificates demonstrating engagement with evidence-based teaching practices and commitment to fostering inclusive environments in their laboratories and classrooms," said Barbara A. Knuth, senior vice provost and dean of the Cornell University Graduate School.

About the Author

Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.

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