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Funding, Grants & Awards

24 Higher Ed Institutions Awarded $1 Million Each to Promote Inclusive STEM

Northeastern University, Rochester Institute of Technology and San Francisco State University are among 24 colleges and universities that were recently awarded $1 million each to promote diversity in science education.

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), a Maryland-based nonprofit medical research organization and longtime supporter of science education in the United States, selected 24 grantees to participate in the 2017 HHMI Inclusive Excellence Initiative. The institutions each submitted proposals detailing plans for increasing student engagement in science at their campuses.

Since 1988, the research organization has worked to advance science education through peer-reviewed grants competitions for four-year colleges and universities. Competitions enable HHMI “to highlight important national issues in science education, support science faculty in addressing these problems, and encourage institutions to become leaders in science education excellence,” according to its website.

The winners share a common goal of increasing institutional capacity for inclusion, which ranges from re-imaging “curriculum, instructional policies or the attitudes and skills of faculty,” the announcement stated. “The grantee institutions have proposed creative and unconventional ideas for making STEM inclusive for students from all backgrounds. Some ideas include the development of culturally-aware curriculum and faculty training, using technology to help students manage family and cultural obligations, empowering students to serve as role models in the classroom, and creating programs to engage large numbers of undergraduates in course-based research experiences.”

The 2017 winners and their project proposals are:

  • Chaminade University of Honolulu: Introducing curricula, pedagogies and research that integrate Hawaiian and Pacific Islander cultural perspectives;
  • Delaware State University: Using online approaches and student-centered pedagogies to meet underrepresented minority students’ needs;
  • Humboldt State University: Designing learning communities for first-year students;
  • Kenyon College: Transforming pedagogical practices and refining tenure and promotion criteria;
  • Lawrence Technological University: Using Course-based Research Experiences;
  • Northeastern University: Offering inclusive teaching and learning opportunities designed to engage students in the process of scientific discovery in science education;
  • Oberlin College: Revising introductory curriculum and co-curricular activities to incorporate inclusive practices;
  • Radford University: Immersing faculty in a “maker” culture to learn inclusive pedagogies;
  • Rochester Institute of Technology: Introducing mentorship opportunities and developing inclusive curricula for students from underrepresented backgrounds, such as the deaf/hard-of-hearing community
  • San Francisco State University: Fostering cultural perspectives by partnering with upper division students of color;
  • Stony Brook University: Creating faculty learning communities focused on developing inclusive practices;
  • Towson University: Creating new, more inclusive experiences for transfer students;
  • Trinity Washington University: Incorporating inclusive teaching and advising skills to support students socially and academically;
  • Tufts University: Increasing faculty members’ ability to listen through intensive working groups informed by responsive pedagogy;
  • University of California Davis: Taking an integrated approach with data and software to encourage faculty and professional staff to use inclusive learning;
  • University of California Los Angeles: Pedagogical training for faculty to ensure the success of transfer students;
  • University of Colorado Denver: Fostering inclusive teaching practices, using culturally- and identity-conscious communication, revising introductory curricula and using early research experiences;
  • University of Northern Colorado: Improving the intrinsic motivational conditions in classrooms, planning and implementing instructional changes and analyzing impact;
  • University of South Dakota: Introducing mentorship opportunities and more culturally-relevant introductory science courses;
  • University of Texas Rio Grande Valley: Ramping up peer mentorship, bilingual support, tutoring and life-coaching opportunities;
  • University of Utah: Creating faculty learning communities, inclusive curricula and improving pre-transfer and post-transfer degree pathways for students;
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute: Modifying curricula to boost experiential learning opportunities;
  • Washington University in St. Louis: Holding psychosocial and metacognitive training programs for faculty, advisers, teaching assistants and others to learn to create inclusive learning environments; and
  • Western Washington University: Introducing student-centered, inclusive courses designed to increase success for all students, with an emphasis for underrepresented natural sciences students.

About the Author

Sri Ravipati is Web producer for THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at [email protected].

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